Kevin Prachnau.

Kevin Prachnau: Home-grown success

When you speak with Kevin Prachnau, there are two things that you quickly realize; he’s both a natural-born businessman and an incredibly hard worker.

When you speak with Kevin Prachnau, there are two things that you quickly realize; he’s both a natural-born businessman and an incredibly hard worker.

Kevin is a Chilliwack boy through and through, having lived here his entire life. “I’ve never left. I love it here,” he said plainly.

His parents were both hard workers, an ethic that they instilled in their three children from an early age. Kevin’s father worked in the automotive industry, dabbled in construction and owned his own dairy equipment business while his mother was involved in the banking industry for a number of years. “She eventually left the bank and went to work at the Chilliwack Health Unit and stayed there until she retired,” he said.

The great outdoors have always played a huge part in Kevin’s life. “I was right into motorcycle riding and racing. I love fishing, camping, spending time at the cabin, hockey and baseball,” he enthused.

Kevin quit high school in Grade 11 for personal reasons and began supporting himself by taking on a job as a parts man for the Honda dealership, where he worked for the next six years. While he loved that job, Kevin has always had the need to face new challenges, so he resolved to move on and began working for Visscher Lumber as a sawdust truck driver. “I did that for about a year and a half and then went into shipping and receiving followed by a position as production coordinator. I ended up staying with them for seven years,” he said.

Ever the entrepreneur, Kevin left and ventured out on his own, starting up an equipment painting business out of his 4,400-square-foot shop. He started off painting equipment and ended up refurbishing old vehicles too. “Six months after starting the business, I hired one guy and after four years I had four guys. When the business was slow, rather than lay off the guys, I renovated houses on the side,” he explained.

At the same time that he was running that business, he had the opportunity of buying into Heppner Trucking, an opportunity that he wholly embraced.  I’ve owned it now for 16 years, the first 11 years I had a partner.”

Given that Kevin has enjoyed the outdoors his entire life, a love that he shares with wife, Cheri and children, 12-year-old Logan and nine-year-old Hailey, he decided to purchase a business dealing in outdoor adventure. “I’ve always been involved in quadding and snowmobiling all of my life and this is something that we do as a family. I’m also a 10-year guy; after 10 years I need to face a new challenge,” he chuckled. So last July, he bought Westcoast Polaris, now known as Fivestar Motorsports. The business was located on Aitken Road but at the beginning of March, they moved into their new location on Yale Road, next to Pioneer Buildall, before the overpass. The business sells ATVs, snowmobiles and carries a large selection of accessories. “We do sales along with the parts and service. We also have the Ranger RZR series, including the new XP 900,” he said proudly.

There is no denying that Kevin has worked hard all of his life and eventually, he’d like to slow down a bit, to start enjoying some of what he loves. “I’ve worked hard since I was 17. I’d like to slow down by the time that I’m 55. I wouldn’t mind travelling a bit more and I’d also like to buy a motor home and just go. I love river fishing and I find the cabin so restful,” he said.

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