Perry Mandera, CEO of The Custom Companies Inc, Inspires Chicagoans To Give 100 Percent Through Quality Work And Charity


Perry Mandera is known throughout the business world for his tenacity, philanthropy, and success. He owns The Custom Companies Inc., which is a full-service transportation company. Although he enjoys helping people and especially children, he also enjoys inspiring others to help. He often writes about his endeavors to bring awareness to various issues or causes, and he tries to instill a spirit of giving in his coworkers, community members, and acquaintances.


The Custom Companies Inc.


As the founder and CEO of The Custom Companies Inc., Perry Mandera has a clear long-term vision for his innovative transportation company. The Custom Companies Inc. works with a variety of entities that are Fortune 100 companies, small family businesses, and startups. The company has been in existence for over three decades. There are major offices in California and in Illinois. However, the business is based in Northlake, Illinois, which is near Chicago. The company’s annual sales revenue exceeds $200 million.


As someone who enjoys making the lives of others better, Perry is always happy when his company grows and adds more jobs. It often hires new drivers in several parts of the country. When the business first started, it was only a two-truck operation. Today, it boasts over 2,000 pieces of equipment across the United States, and there are hundreds of employees. He was not new to the transportation industry when he started the company. He served in the Marines in the 1970s. During that time, he was responsible for arranging transportation for both troops and supplies. He learned how to make quick and strategic logistical decisions.


One of the most important parts of The Custom Companies Inc. is its company culture. Perry Mandera worked hard to build a culture of mutual respect, giving and quality service. The Custom Companies Inc. strives to meet the needs of its shipping customers with a personalized approach. Its transportation services include:


  • International and domestic freight
  • 50-state LTL
  • Direct mail distribution
  • Dedicated contract cartage
  • Expedited ground shipping
  • Logistics management
  • Local cartage
  • Intermodal services
  • Nationwide full or partial truckload services
  • Pick and pack services


The company uses a variety of equipment such as temperature-controlled transport vehicles, dry vans, flat-bed trucks and more. Perry Mandera is grateful to his customers for their loyalty. He calls each client relationship a partnership and makes sure that the goals of each client become the goals of The Custom Companies Inc. as well.


The team at The Custom Companies Inc. prides itself on responding to customers’ needs quickly and being flexible. It currently holds the ISO 9001:2008 certification, which reflects its dedication to flexibility and customer care. Perry created a vision for the company that centers on making things happen for all customers whether they need a last-minute shipment on Christmas Eve or a regular shipment on a weekday. With a focus on accuracy, he inspires his workers to make sure that shipments are correct the first time. When he was in the Marines, he learned powerful teamwork strategies. He still uses those concepts to promote strong bonds between coworkers and a team spirit across all levels of his company. Customers often remark about the company’s impressive teamwork, which positions it as a leader in quality.


Another reason why The Custom Companies Inc. is a leader in its industry is because it values client feedback. For example, its website’s design is the product of client feedback. While many companies design websites based on personal preferences or marketing tips, Perry Mandera wants to maintain a user-friendly site with unique features. Also, the company incorporates the latest technologies to ensure that each user’s experience is positive. It offers valuable features such as real-time tracking information for all shipments, fast quotes, accounting, online reporting, analytical tools and other benefits. Customers can use the website to find comprehensive details about single, mass or regular shipments.


In a recent blog post, Perry shared three specific technologies that The Custom Companies Inc. uses to promote efficiency. Cheetah Dispatch is one of the technologies. It is a comprehensive software program that gives the company’s drivers access to delivery documents, pickup times, schedules and more. Each driver has a special tablet with satellite tracking, and the information is available via that device. This is one of the reasons why the company’s real-time tracking information is so reliable and detailed. The program helps eliminate paperwork and time-consuming steps. The Dock Management System is another special technology that reduces the need for paper and uses barcodes for all shipments. With this system, The Custom Companies Inc. can move shipments quickly with fewer errors or delays. The third technology is the Warehouse Management System. It coordinates with other services and allows clients to track their inventory. With this system, clients can see each step of the shipping process from the time that The Custom Companies Inc. receives items until they are delivered.


There is also a division of The Custom Companies Inc. that specifically handles heavy freight items such as large pieces of machinery. It is called Custom Global Logistics LLC. The division ships freight across the world via cargo ships, ground transportation, and air express.


Perry Mandera And Custom Cares Charities Inc.


The name for Perry’s charitable organization was inspired by The Custom Companies Inc. He wanted to promote the same commitment to quality service and personalized care in his charity. Custom Cares Charities Inc. is actually part of The Custom Companies Inc. It supports several causes that are related to children’s welfare, disaster relief, and other issues. Although many of the charity’s endeavors focus on Chicago residents and people in Illinois, it helps individuals in other parts of the country as well. Also, Custom Cares Charities Inc. supports a variety of charities that help veterans. This topic is especially important to him since he was in the Marines and respects all individuals who serve their country. One of the programs that his organization works with focuses on hiring veterans, and he also proudly offers jobs to veterans at The Custom Companies Inc.


Perry Mandera and his team at The Custom Companies Inc. are passionate about helping people of all ages who struggle with devastating illnesses. Since such illnesses affect both the victim and his or her family members, he often chooses charities that help the entire family. His charitable organization donates to several Christian causes, memorial funds, and needs-based charities. Custom Cares Charities Inc. has donated to about 50 well-known organizations such as the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Campus Crusade for Christ, Toys for Tots, the Special Olympics and the National MS Society.


Perry Mandera used the services of The Custom Companies Inc. to help in his charitable efforts. When a devastating tornado struck an Illinois community in 2013, he quickly volunteered the services of his shipping vehicles to transport supplies to victims. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the South, The Custom Companies Inc. drove more than 40 truckloads of food and supplies to Mississippi and Louisiana. Some of the supplies were purchased by Perry himself. Also, many of the employees of his company donated supplies to the victims. Recently, he donated supplies and transportation services to the victims of the wildfires in California. When the holiday season arrives in Chicago, Custom Cares Charities Inc. donates time, money and transportation services to ensure that needy children have bright Christmases. The organization gives generously to needy families to help them buy gifts or meet their living expenses during the season. Custom Cares Charities Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization.


His Work With The Mercy Home For Boys And Girls


One of the charities that he is most passionate about is the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. The home was started in 1887. At the time, there was a large population of homeless boys wandering the streets of Chicago. A group of priests worked together to find a solution, and they formed the original home in a building that was above a library. They moved to the current main location just two years later. Vocational programs started at the home in 1919. The organization survived the Great Depression and started its sports program during those years. When a new priest took over in the 1970s, he expanded the home’s reach and programs immensely. In 1981, the home started an aftercare program that ensured the success of children as they moved away from Mercy Home. The home’s centennial year was celebrated with a physical expansion, and it now has multiple campuses for education, sports, and living. There is also a transitional housing location. Today, the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls has helped more than 30,000 children.


Mandera gives generously to the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls because of its long-standing reputation for improving the lives of troubled kids. He firmly believes that the basic needs of children must be met before they can succeed, and he knows how important it is for them to have wise mentors. One recent project that he supported was a gardening initiative at the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. The project was a collaboration with a paint company called AkzoNobel. It focused on sustainability. The project took place at the Hay Campus, and both residents and volunteers helped plant flowers and vegetables after they rejuvenated the garden areas. The event was called Green Thumbs for a Greener World.


AkzoNobel representative Alison Kalantzis said that the project was designed to help the community reduce its carbon footprint. Self-sufficiency is an important part of sustainability, and the organization hopes to inspire more young people to make it a priority in their lives in the future. Also, gardening is a good educational activity for today’s younger generations. Since electronics and the internet are such a big part of peoples’ lives today, learning outdoor skills that promote greener living is a great benefit for young people. Another valuable lesson that young people learned at the gardening event was social responsibility. It is a topic that is gaining more popularity today since it promotes awareness of others, their needs, and solutions that benefit everyone.


Support of Anti-crime Initiatives


One of the reasons why Mandera supports the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls is because it keeps many teens from turning to crime to survive. As a city with a high level of poverty, Chicago is known for robberies, murders, and violent crimes. Many people commit them because they need money and choose the wrong methods for getting it. If they stop their criminal behavior at a young age instead of when they are older, people have a wider range of opportunities in their adult lives.


He proudly supports causes that fight crime and help rehabilitate criminals. One example is the Illinois State Crime Commission, which works with the Police Athletic League. In 2010, the ISCC gave him its Bishop Sheil Award. It also gave him its 2011 Citizen of the Year Award. The two organizations work hard to reduce juvenile delinquency and other crimes. The ISCC also fosters positive interactions between young people and police officers.


One of the goals of the ISCC is to promote knowledge among Chicago’s law enforcement agencies. It is also instrumental in supporting legislation that improves existing laws and reduces violent crimes. Since its founding, the ISCC has sponsored many seminars about impoverished communities, drunk driving, drugs, gang violence and teen criminals. These events are mostly for community members but also benefit police officers. For law enforcement officials, the ISCC frequently offers training for security, events, hand-to-hand combat, firearms and martial arts. Perry encourages community members to learn more about the ISCC and its efforts. He believes that if community members understand the needs of disadvantaged youth, it is easier to reduce crime. Also, he wants every young person to have a second chance and to avoid the negative repercussions of having a criminal record as an adult.


Who Is Perry Mandera?


Perry graduated from high school in 1975. He joined the Marines after he graduated, and he served in logistics there. He enjoyed working with heavy equipment. After he finished his time in the Marines and received an honorable discharge, he went back to civilian life. His interest in transportation continued when he started planning his own logistics company. By the time he was 23 years old, he had already developed his own company. His innovation, skills, and hard work helped him grow his company. In addition to his charitable work and his work with The Custom Companies Inc., he serves on the Illinois Trucking Association Board of Directors ( Additionally, Perry Mandera served as a Republican Ward Committeeman in his area in the early 1980s. His service record shows that he cares about inspiring and effecting positive changes in his industry and in his community.


During his professional career, Perry has won multiple awards. He won the Leonard Schaller Businessman of the Year Award and the Executive of the Year distinction from the Italian American Executives of Transportation. He won the Illinois Trucking Association’s Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium accolade. His company’s ISO certification is also impressive since only 270 trucking firms have that distinction. He helped his company earn the certification through meticulous work and a strong commitment to quality global services. The Custom Companies Inc. also received the Pat Summerall Award for being a champion in the trucking industry.


As someone who enjoys helping young people, he also serves on the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation Board of Directors. The organization helps disadvantaged children through fundraisers and special holiday giving programs. Although his company donates generously to multiple charities, Perry Mandera makes personal donations to charities as well. He chooses causes that are especially important to him such as Catholic Charities USA, the University of Chicago Medical Center and the Lynn Sage Foundation. In some instances, he donates his own time or supplies instead of money. For example, he recently helped collect more than 6,500 coats to donate to people. The coats were distributed to needy children and adults in the Chicago area.


In his personal life, Perry enjoys coaching children’s sports teams. He has coached football, baseball, and basketball teams. Additionally, he sponsors over 100 sports teams for young people across the state of Illinois. As an avid church member, he also supports the activities of his parish. He enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He especially loves the Christmas holiday season, which is why he generously donates money, time and supplies to ensure that other families experience the magic of the holidays as well. While some of his physical activity comes from coaching sports, he also works out regularly and places importance on eating healthy. Perry Mandera’s philosophy is that he must care for himself if he wants to consistently give his best effort to care for other people.


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