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
“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
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
“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
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
“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.”