Those of us who have been in the Chicago philanthropy scene for a while are familiar with the household names that come up during conversations and discussions. There are those that have been appearing for a while like Polk, Crown, and Pritzker, and then there is Perry Mandera, a trucking entrepreneur who is now more involved in charity work like the rest of them.


Perry Mandera was born and raised in Chicago and started his transportation venture at a tender age of 23 when he began Customs Company. It is an enterprise that caters for warehousing, transportation, and distribution. Customs as a company has grown exponentially to become one of the most respected cargo companies in the United States handling over 350 power units and using 33 significant distribution market centers.


Perry Mandera’s achievements in the transportation business have enabled him to become more active in philanthropy. He is not only involved in supporting the Chicago community but also other cities around the U.S. Perry is among those who donate to charity organizations like Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation and after hurricane Katrina, he gave truckloads of supplies and food to the families affected. He runs his own nonprofit, Custom Cares Charities, which primarily helps disadvantaged kids.


Custom Cares Charities has in recent years funded more than 100 youth sports teams from different communities in Chicago, Illinois. It has also gone a step further to offer educational sponsorships to underprivileged children and young adults. Having had a time in the Marine, Perry Mandera also directs some of his philanthropy works towards veteran’s courses.


Perry Mandera believes that the children are the leaders of tomorrow and he does a lot for them. He supports and funds the Jesse White Tumblers, an organization that offers kids with education tutoring and also ensures they stay active. Perry was also on the board of the Walter and Connie Foundation, an initiative that offers holiday packages for needy youths. His commitment to children has led him to coach basketball, baseball, and football clubs for kids. He runs the Glenview Grind, a small café that raises and donates funds to other nonprofits including Operation Support our Troops and the American Red Cross.