Noted Chicago Business Man & Philanthropist Perry Mandera Discusses Business in Wide-Ranging Interview

Founder & CEO of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera, engaged in a conversation with IdeaMensch covering a range of topics, including his dedication to philanthropy, the entrepreneurial principles that drive how he operates his business and what a typical day looks like for him.


In the interview, Mandera briefly described his daily schedule, one which includes composing up to three hundred business emails, lunching daily with clients and employees and attending nightly events or meetups up to four times a week, all in service of his ever-expanding business. He would go on to describe himself as a perfectionist when describing habits that make him productive, and highlighted this as a mindset he tries to instill in his employees. “My logic is that if you train people to do it right the first time, you avoid a domino effect of others having to fix your mistakes,” Mandera said.


Mandera also discussed his dedication to philanthropy, particularly as it relates to children, declaring, “I love helping people in need. I have a soft spot for children. I try to help them have better tomorrows, financially. Whether it’s helping with their family, tuition, clothing, food, you name it.”


Perry Mandera is the founder and CEO of The Custom Companies Inc., a freighting and transportation company founded in 1986. A Marine Corps veteran, Perry Mandera first became involved in transportation tour of duty where he aided logistically by trucking supplies and personnel. After earning an honorable discharge, he would work for a few years in the transportation industry before opening a business in 1980.


Mandera would run for office and win election in 1984 into Chicago’s 26th Ward. He would sell his business the next year, and launch The Custom Companies the year after that. Today, the Northlake-based company generates around $2 million annually in revenue and employs in the hundreds.


Perry Mandera, in addition to his business success, is well known for his charitable efforts. He operates the Custom Cares Charities, which distributes a portion of The Custom Companies’ profits to various organizations.