Perry Mandera has led a life centered around giving back to his community. This drive has taken many forms throughout his life, from service in the Marine Corps Reserves, holding elected office, to the formation of his own company employing hundreds of people in the state of Illinois. But perhaps nothing exemplifies Mandera’s passion to give back more than his lifelong commitment to charitable giving, shown through his personal work as well as the creation of Custom Cares Charities Inc.
Perry Mandera’s commitment to serving his community can be seen from the very start of his adult life. Newly graduated from high-school in 1975, Mandera took an early step toward a lifetime of service by signing up for the Marine Corps Reserves. His assigned role as a truck driver during his tour of duty laid a foundation that would build a successful career in the transportation industry later in life.
The Start of Custom Companies Inc.
Following an honorable discharge, Mandera’s return to civilian life saw him ready to further develop his diverse set of skills. After a period of working for several different transportation companies, Mandera founded and later sold his own business. These experiences would prove foundational as Mandera’s later business ventures would grow to serve and employ many in his community.
Following his first foray into the transportation industry, Mandera would again heed the call of community service by pursuing a role in the public sector. In 1984, Perry Mandera was elected to a position as the Republican Ward Committeeman for the 26th Ward in Chicago. His public service spanned a four-year term, ending in 1988. Typifying his drive to engage with his community from an early age, Mandera was the youngest person to be elected to the position at the time of his service.
After Leaving Office
After his foray into holding political office, Perry Mandera’s next step would prove to be one that would define the lives of himself and others for decades to come. In 1986, Mandera founded The Custom Companies, Inc. Mandera’s business venture has grown precipitously since its start. The company now serves thousands of customers and meets the needs of a variety of organizations from small businesses to Fortune 100 corporations. With annual sales that exceed 200 million dollars, The Custom Companies, Inc. has become a powerful creator of jobs over the years. The company currently employs several hundred people both at its headquarters in Northlake, Illinois as well as other locations across the country.
The Custom Companies, Inc. is a “Full-service transportation provider.” The company offers a number of services in the logistics space including domestic and international air freight forwarding services, LTL and truckload services, local and dedicated contract cartage, and various other logistics products and services as well. The company also maintains a U.S. custom bonded warehousing and distribution center (http://www.customcares.com/).
Perry Mandera’s sizable accomplishments throughout his career have earned him recognition by the Illinois Transportation Association [ITA]. In 2000, the organization named Mandera as one of the “Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium.” Mandera now serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the ITA.
Although Perry Mandera’s diverse range of business accomplishments are vast, it is his charitable work that truly typifies his commitment toward community service. Founded on the premise of always doing the right thing and giving back to the community, The Custom Companies, Inc. was created with a focus on paying the company’s success forward. Even before the creation of an official charitable arm of the company, Mandera made it a priority to donate the many resources his success afforded him.
The Efforts of His Charities
As a dedicated family man, churchgoer, and veteran, Mandera has focused his charitable efforts over the years toward organizations that benefit children as well as those who have served in the military. He’s also made it a priority to contribute toward the fight against cancer.
Some of the organizations that Perry Mandera has donated to over the years have been The Jesse White Tumblers and The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation. Mandera currently serves on the board of directors of both organizations and through his work with them he has provided transportation and 6,500 winter coats to children in need in Chicagoland and the surrounding counties.
Perry Mandera’s commitment toward giving also extends into other areas of need as well. Throughout his life, Mandera has repeatedly donated resources to aid victims of natural disasters. In this pursuit, Mandera has donated relief and transportation services to families affected by tragic storms across the country such as Hurricane Katrina and the 2013 tornado that devastated Washington, Illinois. Mandera is continuing this tradition of generosity by donating transportation services and supplies to people affected by California wildfires.
Although Mandera’s track record of community service is long and storied, perhaps nothing exemplifies his commitment to giving more than his work in creating a charitable organization through The Custom Companies, Inc. This organization, Custom Cares Charities, was created to support organizations that are aligned with The Custom Companies’ mission of giving back to the community.
Perry Mandera Helping Chicago Youth
In this pursuit, Custom Cares Charities has focused extensive resources on serving youth and families in need (PerryMandera1.WordPress). Though his charity, Madera not only gives out tens of thousands to such families during the holiday season but also sponsors over one hundred Illinois youth sports teams and provides financial support toward the education of children and young adults. All of this is in addition to a variety of work Custom Cares does to come to the aid of veterans in need.
With a history of public service and the foundation of such an active charitable organization, it is perhaps unsurprising that Mandera himself maintains an active role in community participation. An avid sports fan, Mandera has coached numerous youth teams for various sports including baseball, basketball, and football. He has also supported and managed boxing competitors including two Olympic contenders, Donnell Nickelson and Andy Lee.
In a world that has seen businesses become increasingly globalized and disconnected from their local communities, Paul Mandera’s work throughout his life stands as an exemplification of community service. With a career spanning military service, public office, and the creation of a thriving transportation company, Mandera has always kept a focus on helping those in need. As The Custom Companies, Inc. continues to grow, Mandera’s commitment to service will undoubtedly continue to be felt in communities throughout Illinois and the country.