Recognized as a leader in the transportation industry, at age 23, Perry Mandera began his first trucking company in 1980. Before he turned 30, he founded The Custom Companies, Inc., the industry’s first “one-stop shop.” The firm handles international and domestic airfreight, a comprehensive range of LTL (less than truckload) and truckload services, intermodal and dedicated-contract and local cartage. Additional services include warehousing and distribution as well as trade show and exhibition material shipping. Perry Mandera has grown The Custom Companies, Inc., to more than 350 employees. As President of The Custom Companies Inc., headquartered in Chicago, Perry Mandera supports a number of Chicago city organizations and initiatives, such as WBBM News radio 780’s drug and alcohol prevention program, The University of Chicago Medical Center, and local youth sports teams. Perry Mandera also sits on the Board of Directors of the Chicago-based Jessie White Tumbling Team, an internationally known acrobatic troupe that performs at major sporting events and other venues. In 2004, Perry Mandera received the Leonard Schaller Businessman of the Year Award that memorializes the late Chicago business icon. Perry Mandera was also named to the Top 100 American Transportation Executives of the Millennium by the Illinois Trucking Association (ITA) and became the youngest recipient of the Italian American Executives of Transportation Executive of the Year award. Named the initial Donor of Note, which salutes those “who typically fly under the radar when they make their charitable contributions,” Perry Mandera also garnered acknowledgement from Civic Contributors; the organization recognizes contributions or efforts to assist citizens of the Chicago metropolitan area. Perry Mandera is recognized for a long history of philanthropic endeavors. Serving on the board of The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, he started his own nonprofit organization, Custom Cares Charities, Inc., to insure the needs of underprivileged children are met. Perry Mandera also supports dozens of other causes, including Save Our Seniors Foundation, Special Olympics, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International.