The Prosperous Trucking Company and Philanthropy of Perry Mandera

Businessman Perry Mandera Uses Company to Help Chicago

Perry Mandera has achieved great success as a businessman, sports coach, and philanthropist. His life story offers valuable lessons that can benefit almost anyone. It began in northern Illinois, where he attended public schools and finished earning his diploma in the mid-1970s. Mandera enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves upon graduation.


Military Service


The U.S. military provided the training that he needed to begin driving large trucks. He served in the Marine Corps motor pool. This experience inspired Mandera to assist armed forces veterans throughout his life. After he was honorably discharged, the young man started working for various trucking firms.


Business, Politics


During the early and mid-1980s, Perry Mandera founded his first company and became involved in local politics. He ran the business for about five years before selling it ( Although he had yet to reach 30 years of age, Mandera became a Chicago ward committeeman in 1984. He remained in this position for approximately four years.


His Second Company


In early 1986, the talented businessman established a firm known as The Custom Companies, Inc. This transportation business currently provides employment for 600 people and generates annual revenue in excess of $200 million. Its diverse clients include small enterprises and top corporations.


Mandera’s company maintains headquarters in Northlake, Ill. It helps clients store and distribute a variety of goods. Retailers benefit from its efficient “pick and pack” service. They rent space in The Custom Companies’ warehouses, and TCC directly ships their merchandise to consumers. It owns Illinois and California warehouses that span 750,000 square feet.


Perry Mandera’s leadership enabled the company to grow rapidly and provide innovative services (Bloomberg). As the new millennium began, two organizations recognized his accomplishments with prestigious commendations. He received an Executive of the Year award from Italian American Executives of Transportation, and the Illinois Transportation Association listed him among 100 top industry leaders.




Mandera’s trucking business reduces its environmental impact by participating in a federal program known as SmartWay. It helps transportation firms operate more efficiently. This conserves natural resources while reducing the amount of pollution that enters the nation’s air.




Perry Mandera regularly devotes time and money to various nonprofit groups. Although he has helped a wide range of charities, most of his philanthropic endeavors benefit veterans, natural disaster victims, and children. The skillful executive also strives to assist organizations that prevent cancer or find new ways to treat the disease.


He supports the Jesse White Tumblers and sits on the group’s board of governors. This charity helps kids strengthen their tumbling abilities. It also provides educational tutoring for inner-city students with low grades. The organization seeks to prevent minors from becoming involved in criminal activity.


Custom Cares


Perry Mandera decided to establish a 501c3 nonprofit known as Custom Cares Charities. It assists the communities that have helped his company succeed. Every year, Mandera contributes substantial amounts of cash to local families who need financial support to fully enjoy the winter holidays.


Custom Cares aids both individuals and fellow nonprofits. For instance, it helps young people pay for education. The funding benefits Illinois residents who face abuse, financial hardship or other serious obstacles. This program makes it possible for more Chicagoans to access higher education.


Charitable Cargo


Mandera’s business has helped him become a more effective philanthropist because he can easily transport goods to people in need. During the cold winter months, Custom Companies trucks delivered more than 6,000 coats to children across northern Illinois. They carried aid materials to tornado victims in Washington, Ill. as well.


His transportation firm also helps people elsewhere in the nation. Over 40 trucks brought much-needed supplies and food to Gulf Coast residents after Hurricane Katrina inflicted tremendous damage. These items benefited people in Mississippi and Louisiana. More recently, the company contributed and delivered goods to wildfire victims in California.


Local Efforts


Perry Mandera has supported the Illinois State Crime Commission for a number of years. His donations help fund the organization’s Police Athletic League. It promotes friendly ties between law enforcement personnel and young people. The ISCC selected Mandera to receive its Citizen of the Year, Bishop Sheils, and President’s awards.


He has consistently worked to aid military veterans. Custom Cares Charities cooperates with the Marine For Life Network and Hiring Our Heroes. Mandera also assisted a group of three veterans who wanted to run a food truck in Chicago. Their business is known as Two Soldiers and a Marine.


The ISCC encouraged these entrepreneurs to contact Perry Mandera. He helped them create a prosperous business that benefits the local community. Customers pay low prices for baked beans, french fries, various sandwiches and an assortment of other delectable foods. In addition to selling individual meals, the truck offers catering services.


Coffee Shop


Like the owners of Two Soldiers and a Marine, Mandera is a veteran who runs a small culinary business. He owns a cafe called The Glenview Grind. It serves tea, coffee and bakery products. The shop uses local suppliers and donates a significant amount of money to nonprofits. Among others, they include the American Red Cross, Operation Support Our Troops and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


Coaching, Sports


When he’s not busy launching philanthropic initiatives or running his businesses, Mandera often serves as a sports coach. He trains young people who participate in football, baseball, and basketball games. His charitable organization has provided funding for more than 100 teams across the Prairie State.


The accomplished executive also takes an interest in boxing. He has managed a number of professional fighters, such as Donnell Nickelson. Many fans refer to the Chicago boxer by his nickname “Doc.” Nickelson participated in the Olympic Games during 1992 and fought in the super-heavyweight division.


Even as his company achieved remarkable growth and he devoted numerous hours to charitable and athletic endeavors, Perry Mandera still found time to start a family. He became married in the late 1980s and raised two kids. The renowned businessman continues to participate in sporting events, attend church and work for the benefit of the local community.


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