Perry Mandera Crafts a Personal Approach to Funding Charity

Perry Mandera Crafts a Personal Approach to Funding Charity

Perry Mandera uses a proprietary approach to fund his favorite charities, and the approach is making headlines throughout the world. The transportation entrepreneur began business in 1980, sold the business, served as a Republican Ward Committeeman between 1984 and 1988 and founded the Custom Companies, Inc., in 1986. Long committed to taking an active role in charitable causes, Mandera founded Custom Care Charities to address the ongoing needs of existing charities and special causes such as disaster relief and funding community-sponsored programs.


Custom Care Charities

Custom Care Charities, a legitimate 501(c)3 charity, distributes thousands of dollars annually to needy families during the Christmas season. The charity also supports other causes and diverse group of area charities. In and around Chicago, Custom Care Charities funds sports teams for children and works to relieve the burdens of neglected and abused kids by funding organizations that encourage healthy development activities.


Mandera’s personal charitable giving and Custom Cares Charities contributions have supported the following causes over the years:


Clothing Donations

  • Clothing Donations Perry Mandera has donated more than 65,000 winter coats to underprivileged kids around Chicago.

Walter and Connie Payton Foundation

  • Walter and Connie Payton Foundation This charity takes a proactive role in helping those less fortunate bring stability to their lives.

Jesse White Tumblers

  • Jesse White Tumblers This team of acrobats performs for children and provides halftime shows for the NBA and the NFL. The group was founded in 1959. The program also identifies and trains kids for the next generation of acrobatic tumblers.

Hurricane Katrina Relief

  • Hurricane Katrina Relief The Custom Companies delivered truckloads of food, water and supplies to stranded Hurricane Katrina victims using its fleet of trucks and transportation connections.

Coaching Young People In Sports

  • Coaching Young People In Sports Mandera participates personally in coaching young people in basketball, baseball and football programs. He also has offered financial support for local boxing competitions (Boomberg). Mandera personally managed professional boxers including Donnell “Doc” Nicholson who fought as a Super Heavyweight in the 1992 Olympics and “Irish” Andy Lee, a middleweight Olympic contender in 2004.

HIV/AIDS Research

  • HIV/AIDS Research Mandera has contributed regularly to AIDS research.

Cancer Cures and Prevention

  • Cancer Cures and Prevention The Custom Companies are committed to funding research to eradicate cancer. Mandera personally volunteers his time to help organizations find ways to treat and prevent cancer.

Tornado Victims

  • Tornado Victims Mandera’s charitable causes include helping residents who lost their homes to the severe tornado that struck Washington, Illinois, on November 17, 2013.

Athletic Support

  • Athletic Support Mandera believes in healthy athletic competition and has sponsored many programs to help kids develop athletic skills.


Custom care Charities donates regularly to 42 not-for-profit causes that include the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Girl Scouts of America and the Arthritis Foundation. Mandera especially favors causes that help veterans, teens, and children.


Personally, Perry Mandera attends church regularly with his wife and children. He’s been married since 1989 and committed to raising children in a Christian environment. The entire family volunteers for church-related activities.


The Custom Companies

Perry Mandera founded the Custom Companies, Inc., which doesn’t operate in quite the same way as other transportation companies. This umbrella organization offers a turnkey solution for transportation services with the motto, “One Call Does It All.” Mandera’s customers include Fortune 100 companies that derive more value by outsourcing their transportation needs and to concentrate on core business. With multiple offices located in various U.S. cities, Custom Companies handles all of its clients’ transportation needs so that they don’t need to contract different carriers.


Headquartered in Northlake, Illinois, the transportation company maintains a second corporate office in Los Angeles and satellite offices throughout the country. The company provides many logistical services for shipping, storage, and cartage. Until Custom Companies was founded, no organization offered such a complete array of services. Companies can now get all their trucking, shipping and freight services from a single provider.


The company’s unique approach focuses on providing turnkey services 24/7 with competitive rates. Ancillary services now include warehousing, distribution, labeling, routing, sorting and segregating shipments. Giving back to the community has always topped the company’s business agenda. Although major companies have helped the Custom Companies top $200 million in sales, Mandera also provides transportation services for smaller companies.


Perry Mandera insists that his employees give back to the community and demonstrate a high code of ethics in all business dealings. Truthfulness and transparency are always standard operating procedure. Holding people to a higher standard has helped Mandera build a strong business with 33 major distribution centers and 5,000 business associates. His trucks feature satellite tracking technology. Other services that the company offers include international and domestic freight forwarding and local cartage. In all business and personal dealings, Mandera stresses honesty and confidentiality.


Perry Mandera Wide-Ranging Background

Perry Mandera graduated from high school in Chicago in 1975 and joined the Marine Corps Reserves. During the tour, his assignment was the motor pool where he learned to drive a big truck and handle large loads of equipment. After receiving an honorable discharge, he used his driving skills at several transportation companies. He started his first business in 1980, which he sold in 1985 (


After graduating from a Chicago public high school in 1975, Perry immediately joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Mr. Mandera received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Marine Corps and returned to civilian life. During a wide-ranging career, Mandera has received many honors and accomplishments that include:


  • The Illinois Crime Commission’s Bishop Shiels Award in 2010
  • The Illinois Crime Commission’s ISCC Citizen of the Year Award in 2011
  • The Illinois Crime Commission’s President’s Award in 2013
  • Named as Board Member at the Jesse White Foundation
  • Support for the Sister Paulanne Needy Family Fund
  • Virtus Certified by the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Executive of the Year award in 2000 from the Italian American Executives of Transportation
  • Amateur boxing event chairman


Regardless of whether Perry Mandera is running his $200-million-a-year company or coaching kids in Chicago neighborhoods, he brings enthusiasm, innovation, and support to every task. In his spare time, he spends as much time as possible with his wife and two children but also finds time to volunteer many hours for charitable work.