Strong moral and ethical values encompass all aspects of business and life for John Sr. and Barbara Bertrand of Rancho Bernardo.

“Barbara and I grew up with parents who passed along strong values,” John Sr. said. “Our fathers had a strong worth ethic that was second to none. They worked in factories to provide for their families. Our mothers not only provided comfort and security for us in the home, after we got out of school they also worked outside the home to help our families financially.”

Such a strong foundation produced four successful sons and built a respected family-owned business, Bertrand’s Music.

John Sr. – a graduate of Illinois State University with both bachelor’s and masters’ degrees in music education – was a band and orchestra director in the public school system for 15 years prior to starting Bertrand’s Music, which began in 1983 by providing schools with instrument repairs and accessories out of the back of his truck. Today, Bertrand’s Music has locations in Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, San Bernardino, and Bertrand’s Horn Improvement in Mission Viejo – as well as online ordering at www.eXpresskaraoke.com and www.bertrandsmusic.com.

“From the beginning, our company was concerned more with education of the young students in schools than with making a profit for the business,” John Sr. said, noting that three of the couple’s sons – John Jr., Jeff and Joel – now are involved in the family business (Jacob, the youngest, is

a priest in the Diocese of San Diego). “That basic value continues to be the source and foundation of everything we do. Those values of giving to others and caring for more than just yourself or family are very prominent in our business.”

The company provides more than 75 scholarships annually to area youth who want to participate in its “Headstart Summer Music” program, and John Sr. even helped form a non-profit organization to help make music more available in schools when funding was being reduced, and to provide scholarships for students to take lessons. In addition to being Outstanding Teacher of the Year in San Bernardo County in 1979, he received the Music Education National Conference for Southern California’s 2011 Achievement Award for contributions made to music education.

“I believe in the importance of family, and helping out in the community,” John Sr. said. “We carried the same values and ethics into everything we do. For over 20 years we presented communication workshops for marriages in order to help them become even better spouses and parents through participation in ‘Worldwide Marriage Encounter’, an international movement that supports marriages).”

John Jr. verifies the family philosophy. “One of the main values I learned growing up was commitment. Another is giving. These two qualities have continued to be a pillar of our family and of our business,” said John Jr., who now lives in Rancho Penasquitos. “There has been so many times where I have witnessed my parents give to others, both family and non-family members. They would give without any expectations. This quality of giving first has really become part of who I am and retrospectively who we are as a family. I find myself trying to pass this on to my children, their grandchildren.”

Barbara and John Sr. – married for 45 years – moved from Rancho Penasquitos to Rancho Bernardo in 2003 to down-size their home. “It was one of the best moves we ever made. We love living and working in Rancho Bernardo. It is a great place with fantastic and giving people and a great place to raise our grandchildren (we have five, with one on the way in September),” John Sr. said.

“We like living in RB for several reasons,” Barbara agreed. “One of them is the great people that we have met, and the other is the close proximity to our family. We try to be creative in making sure that we spend time together as a family.”

She noted that both she and her husband come from a long tradition of putting family and faith as a top priority – though she admits sports has a lofty position as well (John Sr. was a coach and manager for years when the boys were young). “We have four sons, so competition is engrained. Our kids played sports through high school and some in college, mostly baseball.”