John Ummel, a long-time (now retired) resident of Santa Barbara, is the creator and head guide for all three tours.
Starting out as a high school teacher (he comes from a family of teachers), John’s tours focus on story-telling and historical oddities that add to Santa Barbara’s unique history. John spent most of his career working in the public sector, most recently as an auditor for a water district in Northern California. He has three children, all married and living in Colorado. Besides conducting tours, John is also a backyard beekeeper, and enjoys fishing, hiking, and traveling with his wife, Vicki.
Don’t let the South African accent fool you. Mandi has a deep passion for, and knowledge of, her adopted hometown of Santa Barbara. After settling in SoCal in 1984, her first vacation was to Santa Barbara, and she was hooked. Small wonder she later moved here with her husband and dog.
An ex high school teacher, Mandi has always been fascinated by history and sharing what she has learned. More recently, she ran an ad agency in Orange County, where this self described information junkie was able to enjoy learning all about many different industries in lots of different places over the years.
Fast forward to the present where it all comes together leading, the tours of the Funk Zone. She clearly loves the job as is evidenced by her stellar 5 star reviews.
David Babbott first visited Santa Barbara in 1970 and lived here
with his wife, Nancy, and three sons in the 1980’s and 1990’s. During his
career, he was a teacher, a major gift and planned giving fundraiser, and, most recently, an investment advisor.
David has traveled to Europe multiple times, but he is now enjoying a deep dive into local history and all that Santa Barbara has to offer.
His interests include tennis and pickle ball, singing, reading, and FaceTiming with grandchildren.
David retired in mid-2019, and he and Nancy moved back to Santa Barbara from Vermont later that year. David guides both the Waterfront and Funk Zone tours.
Craig Smith is a lifelong Californian. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, attended law school in San Francisco, and then settled in Santa Barbara in 1976. Having lived here so long, he is not only a student of Santa Barbara’s history; he was here when some of it was made!
He is a retired attorney and still teaches law school classes on a part-time basis. An avid cyclist, he has done extensive bike touring in both California and New York. He also enjoys skiing and playing tennis whenever he is not occupied with the care of his extremely needy twenty-year-old sports car. Craig guides the Waterfront Tour.