Perry Mandera Talks Charity, Technology, and Inspiration in Latest Interview


As CEO and founder of The Custom Companies, Inc, Perry Mandera has had a long and varied career in the field of logistics and transportation. Having worked in the industry since 1976, he now has over forty years of experience servicing the shipping needs of customers around Illinois and the country at large. With such an extended history of business success, there’s much to be gleaned from a closer inspection of Mandera’s career.


Perry Mandera’s professional experience began during his time in the Marines, a period of his life of which he speaks fondly. During his service, he was in charge of transporting troops and supplies, a pursuit which was formative in helping him see the impact that shipping services can have on a larger goal. Though the experience clearly helped to influence his career path, when asked about his service, his thoughts went to the emotional connection he felt with his fellow troops. Experiencing a sense of camaraderie, as well as witnessing a host of other emotions, was key to his feeling of accomplishment while serving in the Marines.


Perry’s drive toward service didn’t end when he left the armed forces. Upon his return to civilian life, he decided to run for office. In 1984, he was elected as the Republican Ward Committeeman for the 26th ward in Chicago, where he served a four-year term. At the time, he was the youngest Republican Ward Committeeman to serve in Chicago, a distinction which underscores his early call to helping those around him.


Philanthropic Efforts


It’s perhaps unsurprising, given Mandera’s formative experiences, that he also places a heavy emphasis on charitable work in his life. While speaking of his business and leadership experience, our conversation with him naturally took many turns toward the ways in which he helps those in his community and elsewhere. Whenever possible, he donates resources and time to programs designed to address the needs of the less fortunate. Perry places particular emphasis on helping children in need and aids them through financial donations as well as by giving material support such as clothing and transportation services.


Perry Mandera doesn’t stop at donating to established charities, he also seeks out new groups of people who may benefit from his philanthropic spirit (CustomCares). One initiative he highlighted during our chat was a yearly campaign he conducts within his company asking employees to highlight people they know who are in need of assistance. It’s a point of pride that he’s able to ease some of the stress of the holidays by giving resources to those identified by his employees as being in need of his help.


Well-Deserved Awards and Recognitions


Of course, Perry’s expertise goes beyond service and charitable works and he has become a well-respected figure in the business community. As recognition for his prowess in the world of business, in 2000 the Illinois Transportation Association (ITA) singled him out as one of the “Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium.”


Accolades, such as those from the ITA, are partly a result of Perry Mandera’s drive to constantly incorporate the latest technologies into his business’s operations. While there are many examples of logistics software that exist with a range of impressive feature, they are simply not enough for Mandera. In addition to utilizing tools that already meet the high standards of the shipping industry, his company also employs in-house programmers that can further customize software to a specific customers wants or needs. In this way, customers can be assured that his fleet of vehicles and facilities will always be operating at maximum capacity in the service of his clientele.


In the pursuit of the high degree of excellence for which he is constantly recognized, Perry Mandera turns to a variety of sources of inspiration. During our talk, he highlighted his appreciation for motivational speakers that can help unlock a person’s potential for high-level work. He also highlighted his religious background as a compass that helps guide his way through many difficult decisions in business and life at large.


Our Experiences Shape Who We Are


Another source of inspiration for Perry has been experience itself. He acknowledges that mistakes are unavoidable over a career that has lasted as long as his. Through the impulsiveness of youth, he found himself in business deals that his wiser, older self would stay away from. But rather than regret those moments, he views the tribulations of youth as a learning experience and credits those times with providing him with some of the expertise he possesses today.


Perry Mandera’s journey is full of wisdom that can benefit those from any walk of life. His ability to excel in business while also prioritizing service to others is an example that we can all strive toward. To learn more about his life and learnings, read on for our full Q & A from our sit-down with him. It’s a fascinating insight into a man who has achieved so much but has managed to stay humble.

For more information about Perry Mandera’s impact on the city of Chicago, visit

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Brian has over 15 years of experience working with local and community news companies in the UK. Having garnered enough experience, Brian eventually decided to take on greater responsibilities by covering global news.


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