Walter and Connie Payton Foundation Toy and School Supply Drives

Walter & Connie Payton Foundation pic

Walter & Connie Payton Foundation

As founder and president of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera directs a Chicago company that provides dedicated transportation services spanning the nation. Over the decades, Perry Mandera has grown his business to encompass more than 600 employees. His firm maintains a strong community focus and supports the efforts of the Walter & Connie Payton Foundation, which assists the less fortunate.

One major initiative of the foundation is an annual holiday toy drive. With volunteers stationed at the entrance to Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, football fans are encouraged to drop off unused, unwrapped gifts in their original packaging, to be distributed to children statewide. The Annual Holiday Gift Giving Program also works in partnership with institutions such as the Chicago Heights establishment Club 390.

This foundation initiative is complemented by a back-to-school supply drive that involves sorting and filling backpacks for children. Through these coordinated efforts, some 14,000 in-need children are reached annually, enriching their young lives.

Expedited Intermodal Transportation Solutions


The Custom Companies pic

The Custom Companies

Based in Chicago, Perry Mandera leads The Custom Companies, Inc., which provides a host of transportation solutions across North America. Perry Mandera’s company often emphasizes an intermodal approach that is particularly suitable for clients operating within tight budgets.

The most cost-effective way of shipping truckloads, intermodal shipping involves moving cargo in specially made containers that are transported on trains. The firm maintains partnerships with well-established rail service providers such as US Xpress, Schneider National, and Union Pacific Streamline. This approach enables flexible solutions, with 20-foot containers that can hold up to 37,000 pounds of freight and 48 to 53-foot containers that can handle 43,000 pounds.

Among the products that can be shipped through intermodal are various types of food, machinery, and hazardous materials. All moving containers are tracked in real time, with providers offering long-term and spot rates folded within new and ongoing projects.

One of the expedited shipping options offered by the firm through CDN Logistics are “rail-ready” CDNZ trailers, which shorten delivery times and avoid the bottlenecks that can occur with over-the-road truckloads. As one example, the company offers three-day intermodal service between Los Angeles and Chicago, in both directions.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Marine For Life Network

Walter and Connie Payton Foundation pic

Walter and Connie Payton Foundation

Through his work as the president of The Custom Companies, Inc., Perry Mandera provides transportation and logistics solutions to clients throughout North America and Mexico from his base in Chicago. A philanthropist, Perry Mandera serves on the board of the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation (WCPF), which former football star Walter Payton established with the aim of providing help to the less fortunate.

Alongside various programs that offer support and resources to children and veterans, the WCPF operates an annual holiday giving program that asks its supporters to provide holiday gifts to children and veterans in need in Illinois. Supporters can register with the WCPF to hold holiday gift drives, during which they collect toys and essential items for donation to children and veterans during the holiday season. Further, those in need of support, be they individuals, families, or agencies, can register with the WCPF to receive gifts.

Due to its work with the WCPF, The Custom Companies, Inc., has received special acknowledgment from the foundation. To find out more about the WCPF’s holiday giving program, visit

How the Marine For Life Network Connects with Its Members

Marine For Life Network  pic

Marine For Life Network

A pioneer within the transportation industry, Perry Mandera worked for numerous firms before founding The Custom Companies, Inc., which he continues to serve as president. Prior to this, Perry Mandera was a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserve and he currently backs projects that support marines, including the Marine For Life Network (M4L).

Established to help former marines transition back into civilian life, the M4L operates various social media accounts and holds face-to-face meetings to connect with members and provide them with support. Beyond using its Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to connect marines to various educational resources and expand upon the work it carries out, the M4L operates a national group, alongside four regional groups, via its LinkedIn page to connect marines with each other and various employers.

Further, M4L arranges face-to-face meetings between marines and the organization’s field staff, which includes a network of representatives, four regional network coordinators, and various educational and employment resource managers. These meetings encourage marines to seek out M4L resources while providing access to the M4L’s various local meetings and events.