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.
Illinois Trucking Association
A prominent business leader in Chicago, Perry Mandera is the founder and president of The Custom Companies, Inc., which provides a range of logistical and transportation services throughout the United States. Perry Mandera retains membership in the Illinois Trucking Association (ITA), which supports transportation companies in Illinois through resources and advocacy efforts.
In April of 2017, the ITA held its annual Trucks, Traffic, & Teens event in Decatur. The three-day event invited driver’s education students from regional high schools to learn more about the trucking industry and commercial vehicles.
The centerpiece of the event was a semi-tractor with a 53-foot trailer, which students could sit in to see for themselves how visibility is restricted in large vehicles. This helped students learn the importance of staying out of the blind spots of large commercial trucks. The ITA is already planning another 2017 Trucks, Traffic, & Teens event in Joliet.
Perry Mandera guides The Custom Companies, Inc., and offers clients throughout Canada, Mexico, and the continental United States a host of transportation services. Perry Mandera’s firm maintains a strong charitable commitment that includes fund recipients such as the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project and its cycling initiative, Soldier Ride.
Offering wounded service members a chance to rehabilitate through shared physical endeavor, Soldier Ride encourages a sense of camaraderie as participants cycle for four days together. All ability levels are welcome, as adaptive bicycles, tricycles, and hand cycles are available to accommodate Warriors with a diversity of disabilities and injuries.
The program is enabled with the assistance of local law enforcement and fire departments, and includes an initial 10-15 mile short ride, followed the next day by a challenging ride of 15 miles and upward. At one such event sponsored by the Chicago Fire Department, Custom Cares contributed 100 cases of Gatorade, which were distributed along routes to participants, who in total cycled 70 miles.
As the founder and director of The Custom Companies, Inc., in Illinois, Perry Mandera has grown the business into a full-service transportation provider. Perry Mandera also emphasizes the importance of corporate social responsibility through the company’s philanthropic division, Custom Cares Charities, which supports various charitable organizations, including Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Among its many advocacy initiatives, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago maintains the Injury Prevention and Research Center (IPRC) to reduce preventable injuries by focusing on the leading causes of youth injury. The hospital notes that injuries, many of which are preventable, rank as the top cause of death and long-term disability for youth between the ages of 1 and 19.
To decrease the number of intentional and unintentional youth injuries, the IPRC works to promote more protective environments, greater knowledge and skills, increased awareness, and enhanced public policies. The IPRC also supports behavioral risk reduction and safe social environments. As a contributor to research methods and best practices, the IPRC utilizes a public health model for injuries that involves describing the problem, locations, and causes, as well as creating and assessing interventions.