Perry Mandera is a pioneer in the transportation industry with a commitment to helping others, a dedication to his family and church and a passion for sports. After graduating a Chicago public high school, Perry immediately joined the U.S. Marine Reserves where he first learned to drive a truck.
At the age of 23 and after working several transportation jobs, Perry Mandera began his own business in 1980, which he later sold in 1985.
With an interest in politics, Mandera served as the Republican Ward Committeeman for the 26th Ward in Chicago from 1984-1988. At the time, he was the youngest man to ever serve in that position.
In February 1986, Perry Mandera started The Custom Companies
. Today, Custom Companies serves customers ranging from family-owned small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.
The Custom Companies, headquartered in Northlake, Illinois, is a full-service transportation provider offering a complete range of Truckload and LTL shipping services as well as Domestic and International AirFreight forwarding services, Local Cartage and Dedicated Contract Cartage.
In 2000, Perry Mandera was named to the "Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium" by the Illinois Transportation Association [ITA], for which he currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors.
As a community leader and on behalf of The Custom Companies, Perry Mandera has donated his energy and dollars to many charitable organizations throughout the years. Specifically, Perry has focussed his charitable efforts on children's organizations and cancer prevention, including The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation and The Jesse White Tumblers, both of which he is a current member of the Board of Directors.
Perry was proud to have The Custom Companies provide help for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. So far, Custom Companies has already transported more than 40 truckloads of food and supplies to Louisiana and Mississippi with additional trips planned for Spring 2007. Recently, Perry was also instrumental in starting The Custom Companies own charitable organization - "Custom Cares Charities," a 501(c)(3) organization.
Personally, Perry has coached youth sports for basketball, football and baseball teams. With a passion for boxing, Perry has supported boxing competitors including Donnell "Doc" Nickelson who competed as a U.S. Olympic Super Heavyweight Fighter in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Currently, Perry helps manage "Irish" Andy Lee, a middle weight Olympian who represented Ireland in the 2004 Olympics.