It’s one thing for a business to say they operate with integrity. It’s another thing when a business actually lives it.
Meet Jon Sanford, owner of Portland-based Caber Carter Construction and all-around great guy. As I chatted on the phone with Sanford, it was clear to me that here is a business owner who cares about his community; who cares about people.
During our conversation we spoke about a current project he’s working on that is close to his heart.
“We’re working on renovating a home for a local veteran, a former marine, so she can sell it,” Sanford said. “She’s in a rough spot with stage four breast cancer. Her husband has left her. She has no funds other than disability. She’s just lost everything.”
For Sanford, this was a call to action he could not ignore. A disabled combat veteran himself, Sanford spent years working in Congress as a veterans’ advocate for the State of Oregon after his return from Iraq in 2006. Sadly he, like many others, was disappointed with the level of help offered to those coming back from war.
“I spent nearly a decade working in Congress, and what I realized was that no matter who is trying to set legislation, it really comes down to community members helping one another. I decided never again will I work for people who talk about doing ‘the work’ rather than actually doing it. So, I put my money where my mouth is, and started my businesses.”
Sanford is a second-generation carpenter, which led him to start his construction business. Caber Carter focuses on classic and historic remodel projects mostly throughout southeast Portland. In fact, the company won the 2017 DeMuro Award for Best Historic Renovation in the City in 2017. The DeMuro Awards honor those in the building industry for excellence in preservation, reuse and community revitalization.
On any job, historical or not, Sanford says it’s important to him and his crew to do it right and do it right the first time. “I don’t have time to do it twice,” he said, referencing the need to get home and spend time with his wife and young daughter. He underlined how important family values are to him and that he understands everyone on his crew “has someone to get home to.”
The more I heard about his mission and values, the more I realized how well aligned Caber Carter is with Better Business Bureau’s standards of trust – putting customers first, establishing trust and, of course, embodying integrity.
As for helping that fellow veteran, Sanford said he’s just finalizing materials with a new supplier and then he has 14 pairs of hands ready to step in and help, donating their time and labor for free. His hope is to start the first week of 2020.
“We’re going to do what we can to get her house ready to sell so she can get home to the East Coast,” Sanford said. “My mom had breast cancer, so I’m not about to turn my back on someone who needs help.”