Perry Mandera Perpetuates The Spirit Of Giving

Perry Mandera Focuses On Charity

Perry Mandera is the founder of Custom Cares Charities. As a leader in the transportation industry, Mandera has maintained his dedication to helping his family, his church, and many others. He served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves after graduating from high school in 1975. He learned how to drive a truck during a tour of active duty, and that experience fueled his interest in the transportation industry. After being honorably discharged, he pursued his interest working in the transportation industry.



Perry Mandera’s Growth In The Transportation Industry

By the time he was 23 years old, he had worked for multiple transportation businesses. In 1980, he started his own business. However, he decided to sell it five years later. Perry Mandera was interested in politics at that time, and he served as a committeeman for the Republican Party in Chicago for four years. At the time, he had the distinction of being the youngest person to hold that position.


The Custom Companies, Inc. was started in 1986 by Perry Mandera, and the business is still thriving today. It helps all sizes of companies from larger Fortune 100 corporations to small family businesses ( With its headquarters in Illinois, the transportation business employs hundreds of workers and surpassed $200 million in sales recently. There are several other agents and offices associated with The Custom Companies in other American cities. It is a full-service transportation provider offering services such as foreign and domestic air freight forwarding, contract cartage and local cartage. It offers a variety of other services and has a bonded warehouse and distribution facility.



Earning A Reputation As A Transportation Industry Leader

The Illinois Transportation Association included Mandera in its “Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium” list in 2000. Today, he also serves as a board member of the ITA. Over the years, he has received recognition from multiple charities for his financial and physical contributions. While some of his contributions were made personally, others were made on behalf of his company. Perry Mandera’s philanthropic efforts focus mostly on youth charities and educational organizations. However, he has made generous contributions to cancer research facilities, cancer prevention initiatives and veteran benefits programs. His company also strives to hire veterans. Here are a few of the many notable charities that have benefited from his generosity:


  • Jesse White Tumblers
  • Walter & Connie Payton Foundation
  • ALS Foundation
  • MADD
  • Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation
  • Toys for Tots
  • Girl Scouts of America
  • National MS Society



Perry Mandera serves as a board member for the Jesse White Tumblers and the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation. In his service as a board member, he arranged for the collection and distribution of 6,500 donated winter coats recently. The coats were given to children and needy families in the Chicago metro area.


Perry Mandera Helps With Disaster Relief Efforts

On behalf of his company, Mandera gladly donated transportation services to aid in the disaster relief efforts after the tornado-related devastation in 2013. The services went to residents and businesses in Washington, Illinois. Additionally, Perry and his company donated supplies to families who were affected by the destruction.


He has also helped coordinate relief efforts for disasters that happened outside of Illinois. The Custom Companies relayed 40 truckloads of supplies and food to people who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. While some items were donated, others were purchased by Mandera. The items were distributed to people in Mississippi and Louisiana.


Recently, Perry and his company donated transportation services to help with disaster relief efforts in California following the devastating wildfires. Supplies were also donated to victims who lost their homes and belongings. In addition to being conscientious about the immediate needs of people, the company is mindful of the long-term needs of everyone. This is why The Custom Companies participates in the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program. The program is designed to reduce emissions and fuel usage.



Perry Mandera Makes Charity A Component Of Company Culture

With the help of several others, he started the Custom Cares Charities as the philanthropic arm of The Custom Companies. It is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Since the winter holiday season is special to Perry, he wants to help families experience the joy of the season by alleviating financial burdens. He distributes thousands of dollars to needy families through Custom Cares Charities at the start of each winter holiday season (Crunchbase).


When he founded The Custom Companies, he made it clear that giving back to the community would remain an important part of the company’s core values. He wants people to do the right thing, and he strives to set an example for his staff and his community. Custom Cares Charities was established to support other charities or causes that share the mission of the organization. The charity also gives to needy individuals who are not part of an organization. Perry Mandera is proud to maintain a diverse list of charities on the company’s support roster. In the Chicago area, the charity has helped more than 100 sports teams for children. Custom Cares Charities is especially passionate about helping children from underprivileged families and disadvantaged neighborhoods. Abused and neglected children receive special consideration as well. He conscientiously chooses organizations that foster healthy development for children of all ages and young adults.

In his free time, Mandera enjoys outreach opportunities. He has coached youth baseball, football, and basketball teams. Additionally, he has managed and funded boxers. One of his sponsorship recipients went on to compete in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. He also managed a famous Irish boxer who competed in the 2004 Olympics. As an accomplished business executive, he is happy to help entrepreneurs and give them advice. Today, he enjoys organizing and sponsoring church activities in addition to community events. He has been happily married since 1989 and has two children. Perry Mandera enjoys spending time with his family and being active in his kids’ sports programs and other youth activities.


For more information on Perry Mandera, visit Crunchbase and LinkedIn

About Erica Smith 228 Articles
With several years in the medical field—both as a practitioner and an administrator—Erica has a unique perspective on the health industries. From medical technology to cancer research, she covers our health industry.

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