Perry Mandera

CEO at The Custom Companies

About Perry Mandera

Trucking magnate Perry Mandera is the founder of The Custom Companies, which pioneered the transportation industry’s full-service model. He has leveraged his commercial success to support a myriad of philanthropic efforts on both a corporate and personal level. The company sponsors a number of Chicago-area youth sports teams, and Mr. Mandera has coached youth football, baseball, and basketball teams. Perry Mandera supported several professional boxers as well, including 1992 super heavyweight Olympic contender Donnell “Doc” Nickelson and Irish middleweight Andy Lee, who competed in the 2004 Olympics. Mr. Mandera also assists in the Special Olympics.

Holding a special place in his heart for children, Perry Mandera established Custom Cares Charities to focus on children’s causes. Beneficiaries of his generosity have included the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, K.I.D.S.S. for Kids (an auxiliary fundraising group at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, and the Boy Scouts of America. When Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma caused devastation in the South, Perry Mandera sent dozens of truckloads of food and supplies to Louisiana and Mississippi. He also contributes to organizations assisting victims of AIDS, cancer, muscular dystrophy, leukemia, hunger, and drug and alcohol addiction. His philanthropic efforts include sitting on the boards of the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.

Perry Mandera funds his philanthropy through the exponential growth of The Custom Companies, which he established in 1986. Serving customers from family businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, the transportation firm provides everything from truckload and less than truckload (LTL) shipping, to national and international airfreight forwarding for local and dedicated cartage. A member of the Illinois Trucking Association’s Board of Directors since 2007, in 2000 Perry Mandera was named among the Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium.

The Jesse White Tumblers Training Program

Founder and president of The Custom Companies, Inc., which offers a range of transportation services to clients throughout North America, Perry Mandera is an innovator in the sector. Named one of the Illinois Transportation Association’s “Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium,” Perry Mandera is active in charity and serves on the board of The Jesse White Tumblers.

Since its formation in 1959, The Jesse White Tumblers has been provided alternatives to inner-city children to keep them away from gang- and drug-related activities. To do this, it operates a tumbling team training program, specially designed to develop the tumbling skills of students between the ages of 6 and 16.

Each member of the team is selected during a tryout, with those who make the team learning about the philosophies, rules, and self-discipline the charity has based itself upon since foundation. The program and its uniform are free to all participants, who must keep a “C” average or better in school.

Perry Mandera Discusses the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation (Part 1 of 2)

The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation (LSCRF) serves as one of the top breast cancer research and education charities in the United States. The organization honors the memory of Lynn Sage, a Chicago woman who battled breast cancer for six years before succumbing to the disease. After Sage’s death at the age of 39, 17 of her friends joined together to found LSCRF.

Founded in 1985, LSCRF lends its support to research possible treatments for breast cancer. In particular, LSCRF maintains research partnerships with institutions such as the Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University. Since its early years, LSCRF has grown into a major presence in the field of cancer research, and has raised more than $27 million. LSCRF also benefits from low administrative costs of 6 percent, which enable it to donate the overwhelming majority of its contributions to research.

Attention Bears Fans,

On behalf of the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, I would like to invite you to the Third Annual Tailgate Party Toy Drive on Sunday, October 7, 2012. Kick off is at 3 p.m., but come down to Bill’s Pizza & Pub at 624 South Lake St., Mundelein, Illinois, anytime from 1-6 p.m. that day. Any new, unwrapped children’s toy will get you in the door for free. Each toy donation at the Third Lake and Mundelein locations will earn you one “Bill’s Buck” ($2 value) throughout the toy drive, from September 28 until game day.

As a board member of the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, I know how much your donations mean to this great cause, and I’m pleased to announce that the Peyton family and other prominent figures will be in attendance.

Bill’s Pizza will donate 10 percent of all sales during the event to the foundation, so please show your support. There will be a fan contest at halftime and other fun prizes.

Perry Mandera

Perry Mandera is a board member of the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, which supports children who have faced family obstacles. Perry Mandera is President of The Custom Companies, Inc., and founded the company’s own giving organization, Custom Cares Charities.

October Is “Light the Way to Find a Cure” Month

By Perry Mandera

Each October in Chicago, pedestrians and drivers see pink lights brightly lit across 140 of Chicago’s buildings and scores of pink flags. These lights and flags are in support of the city’s “Light the Way to Find a Cure Month,” which strives to remind women to perform regular breast self-exams that lead to the early detection of cancer. If women are diagnosed early, 96 percent of them survive breast cancer, a disease that remains the second leading cause of death of adult women.

This educational campaign is the work of the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, which raises funds to conduct educational outreach programs, breast cancer screening and treatment, and scientific cancer research at Northwestern University. The foundation’s work resulted in the increased capacity of Northwestern to provide more than 60,000 mammograms each year at the Lynn Sage Breast Screening Center and the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center. The foundation awards grants and fellowships to promising researchers at Northwestern who test theories and discover new methods for diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Ultimately, the foundation’s goal is to find a cure for breast cancer.

The foundation is named after a valiant and inspirational Chicago resident who died of breast cancer at the young age of 39. Her friends and family came together in 1985 to form this foundation in her honor.

About the Author:

Business executive Perry Mandera has donated to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation. Mr. Mandera contributes primarily to cancer prevention programs and children’s organizations. As the President of Custom Companies, Mr. Mandera guided the formation of Custom Cares Charities, the corporation’s foundation.

Perry Mandera’s Support of the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation

As founder and owner of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera maintains nationwide transportation and logistics capacities spanning truckling, intermodal services, and international air freight. Perry Mandera is committed to charitable giving and supports nonprofits such as the Lynn Sage Cancer Fund, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation.

With the motto “dignity... served daily,” the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation distributes food throughout the Chicagoland area and feeds approximately 150,000 people monthly. A key focus is on lean, healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, proteins, and grains, which are missing from the diets of many inner-city urban dwellers.

Since 2007, Project Newtrition has operated side-by-side with the Federation’s feeding efforts in providing detailed education on healthy eating choices. Supported by the certified nutritionists and Graduate School of Social Work at Dominican University interns, the initiative also involves volunteer nurses and nursing interns who provide cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure screenings.

Perry Mandera’s philanthropic commitment extends to Custom Cares Charities, which focuses primarily on supporting nonprofits that assist vulnerable and needy children.

Big Rig Manufacturers Announce Greener Engines
By Perry Mandera

Recently, Cummins Inc. informed press that its medium-duty engines meet the U.S. government's upcoming greenhouse gas limitations. Two other truck manufacturers, Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks, Inc., followed suit and revealed that their vehicles will also comply with the 2014 regulations. Since the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration passed this new standard in August 2011, manufacturers have worked to ensure that their newest models incorporate greener elements. For example, Cummins made hardware modifications that affect the water and fuel pumps, which should result in a 2-percent increase in fuel efficiency. Furthermore, Volvo Trucks has implemented an initiative to decrease the entire company's carbon footprint by shifting operations practices and improving products. The company also improved its trucks' aerodynamics.

About the author: The founder of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera has devoted his career to the shipping and transportation industries. Mandera's companies provide full and partial truckload services, airfreight services, and a variety of other shipping solutions.

Custom Companies, Inc., Introduces Efficiency-Boosting Technologies

A prominent presence in the Chicago business community, Perry Mandera is president of The Custom Companies, Inc., where he guides coordinated transportation services spanning land and air. In 2016, Perry Mandera’s firm introduced CDN Logistics’ new PeopleNet units, which offer a tablet pre-planning solution.

Not mandated by the Department of Transportation until the end of 2017, this “smart fleet” technology improves the ability of drivers to coordinate with headquarters and stay informed on their upcoming loads. The electronic log books feature high-quality GPS capacities and can be tethered to smartphones. This allows drivers to receive dispatch information and alerts even when outside the cab.

The Custom Companies also moved proactively to introduce dimensional scanning capacities. This system has its basis on freight’s three-dimensional characteristics, rather than classes of freight. A distinct benefit is in enabling freight to be optimized to the cubic space available and ensure that trailers are fully utilized. This provides cost savings and increases the efficiency of services that customers receive.

The Iowa 80 Truck Stop - A Host of Services for Nationwide Truckers

As head of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera provides a host of integrated transportation solutions spanning North America. Perry Mandera’s enterprise maintains a nationwide network of truck drivers dedicated to safe, customer-responsive delivery. A 2016 article in the company newsletter focused on a familiar landmark to many of its cross-country drivers.

Situated in Walcott, Iowa, at exit 284 of I-80, the Iowa 80 truck stop is the world’s largest and was built at that location in 1964 on behalf of Standard Oil. Founder Bill Moon had a passion for trucks and the trucking industry and enjoyed the diverse people he met through his business.

The truck stop grew steadily from a single building into a business that serves the needs of 5,000 drivers daily and has parking for 250 cars and 900 tractor-trailers. The complex now encompasses a TV lounge, food court, workout room, laundry room, and shower facilities. Tuckers can take in a movie at the 60-seat theater and visit an onsite dentist, barber, or chiropractor.

The Iowa 80 is also host to an annual three-day Walcott Truckers Jamboree that features live music, a trucker Olympics, pork chop cookout, and vehicle beauty contest.

PeopleNet System Introduced for The Custom Companies’ Drivers

Based in Chicago, Perry Mandera guides The Custom Companies, Inc., and provides a host of quality-focused transportation services spanning North America. In 2016, Perry Mandera’s enterprise announced the introduction of expanded technological capacities through PeopleNet in-cab tablets provided to CDN Logistics’ employees.

The benefit of this remote “Smart Fleet” solution is that it allows drivers of both company-owned trucks and owner-operated vehicles to communicate fully in real time on scheduling. Drivers can easily access information on their next load and communicate the drop-off time for their load with headquarters. The GPS-based system also enhances the dispatch hand-off process through providing an easy-to-use template for all assignment information. The provided Samsung tablet is unlocked and has capacities that extend to email and other apps.

The PeopleNet solution has been described as meeting E-Log book mandates set to come into effect at the end of 2017, as per revised Department of Transportation rules.

Punching Speed Drills For Boxers

A former member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, where he first learned how to drive a truck, Perry Mandera is a transportation leader who has overseen the consistent growth of The Custom Companies, Inc. Aside from his professional duties, Perry Mandera is also a boxing enthusiast who has provided management to a number of athletes, including Olympians Andy Lee and Donnell Nickelson.

High punching speed helps boxers make more connections and reduces the risk of opponents slipping punches. Here are some training drills focused on developing punching speed through increased endurance and coordination:

1. The Speed Bag. Speed bags help boxers develop the hand-eye coordination they need to spot openings and slip punches in. While it doesn’t directly improve hand speed, it helps the mind register punching targets quickly, allowing boxers to react faster.

2. Punch Intervals. This exercise sees boxers punching a heavy bag continuously for 20 seconds, before resting for 60 and then repeating the process with a different punch. It should be done four or five days a week in three-round segments to improve endurance in the arms and shoulders, so punching speed does not lower in later rounds.

3. Breathing. Good boxers breathe alongside their punches, meaning they exhale every time they throw a punch, inhaling in the gaps between. Doing so keeps oxygen pumping around the body, which staves off the muscle fatigue that slows punches down.

Kids Wish Network’s Holiday of Hope

A seasoned transportation executive who leads The Custom Companies, Inc., from its base in Chicago, Perry Mandera first learned how to drive a truck after joining the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1975. Beyond his professional activities, Perry Mandera lends his support to a range of charitable initiatives, including Kids Wish Network, which operates the Holiday of Hope program.

Designed with the aim of reaching at-risk children, in cooperation with local fire and police departments, Holiday of Hope tours throughout the United States to put smiles on the faces of thousands of children who are experiencing issues related to abandonment, abuse, homelessness, and neglect.

To do so, its volunteers deliver clothing, games, toys, and other items to children and their families, working alongside toy manufacturers, local businesses, and trucking companies, many of which serve as sponsors. Further, Holiday of Hope aims to demonstrate that those in positions of authority in the local public services care for them, ensuring those visited have positive relationships with others in their local communities.

The Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

In addition to serving as the president of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera supervises The Custom Cares Charities, which is the charitable arm of the company. Through this work, Perry Mandera supports several nonprofit organizations, including the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.

Providing a safe haven for vulnerable children, the Mercy Home operates a residency program for young people from 11 to 21 who have experienced trauma or live in problematic situations. In particular, the home focuses on children who show a willingness to engage in its program and benefit from understanding how to build healthy relationships.

Many of the children in the residency program have experienced neglect or abuse, while others present behavioral, emotional, or educational issues that need confronting through a structured program. Concerned citizens may refer young people to the Mercy Home by completing the referral form at and speaking to an admissions counselor.

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