(Pictured left to right): Dennis Proctor, Founding Partner of Saddle River Range in Conroe and WPS Customer, Lesley Chillson, Navy Veteran and WPS employee, Stan Jones, Air Force Veteran and WPS Customer, Kristin Harrelson, daughter of a Navy Veteran and WPS Customer, John Henderson, WPS Lead Technician, Dana Pritchard, WPS Owner and daughter of an Army Veteran (holding Hazelnut, the shop dog), Lt. Dan Landvogt, Needham Fire Department and Army Veteran, Wyatt Pope, Needham Fire Fighter and Landon Howes, Needham Fire Fighter
The Woodlands, Texas – Dana Pritchard, owner of Woodlands Performance & Suspension (WPS) announced that The Woodlands based specialty performance and suspension business is celebrating 15 years of customizing vehicles. WPS specializes in performance, suspension, restoration and customization on cars, trucks, SUVs, and Jeeps, for domestic/import or classic vehicles. Her history includes a long list of working with veterans and first responders.
According to customer Kristin Harrelson, “Our family has a tradition of loving classic cars but we are definitely a Mustang family. We have extremely pleased with the work from WPS and we especially appreciate that Dana honors veterans and their families.” Kristin’s Dad, Anton Wagenhauser, served in the Navy and raised his family to appreciate Mustangs. Her husband, Mike Harrelson, also has a father, Rick Harrelson, who served in the Army and drives Mustangs. Dana’s WPS team has restored several of the family’s cars including a 1967 Mustang Fastback that was converted into a Shelby GT500 clone.
Customer Stan Jones shared, “I have been searching for the right Jeep to restore and I found one in Georgia that did not have a rusted frame and body. With WPS coming highly recommended, I knew I had to bring it them for the work.” He had owned a Jeep while serving as a pilot in the Air Force and served for 26 years. Now Stan’s 1986 Jeep CJ7 will receive a full frame off restoration from WPS.
Dana Pritchard has recently hired an apprentice and 11 year Navy veteran, Lesley Chillson, who is attending Universal Technical Institute and taking advantage of the GI bill to get her Auto Repair Tech Training certificate. Lesley followed her sister’s footsteps into the Navy and wanted to travel. “I’ve been to a lot of places and seen different cultures which makes me appreciate the United States even more,” Lesley said. As far as adapting from military life to civilian life, “I have to stop myself sometime to see where I’m at but I loved the camaraderie and being part of a tight family in the military. I think working with Dana and John at WPS is awesome and my favorite job thus far is being able to work on a 1963 Corvette that WPS is restoring from the ground up.” Her advice for returning veterans is “Find something you want to do and go for it.”
When Dana Pritchard and her partner opened WPS they wanted to convey gratitude, appreciation and setting a good example as a business owner. Since her partner decided to pursue other interests, WPS is now a solely woman owned business. “WPS is a woman owned business, which is a rarity in this industry. But I have established close relationships with industry professionals and earned a level of respect that proves my ability to lead in a male-dominated field. We are excited to be celebrating 15 years,” noted Pritchard. “I appreciate and I am extremely thankful for our humble beginnings, and grateful for our family, friends, and loyal customers and the community relationships we have that have supported us over the years including those that have served in the military or work as first responders.”
She continued, “We enjoy getting to know our customers on a personal level and it’s great to hear the stories they tell of the vehicles they bring in to be modified or restored – whether it is an all original one-owner car, or a vehicle they had in high school. They trust us to preserve these precious memories that in most cases will be passed down to another generation.” Pritchard gives credit to her long term Lead Technician, John Henderson for his loyalty and dedication, expertise and talent to WPS as an important part of her success.
WPS’s relationship with first responders started in the early days of the business by working with the Needham Fire Department’s vehicles including their fire trucks and their boat. Individual Fire Fighters have also been customers.
Pritchard is also one of the founding members of The Woodlands Car Club which has raised and donated over $150,000 to over 50 non-profit organizations in Montgomery County, since its formation in 2001, from the charity car related events she organizes – the most popular is TWCC Cars & Coffee for a Cause Charity Car Display at Market Street held on the first Sunday morning of each month.
Woodlands Performance & Suspension is located at 1622 Sawdust Road, Ste. A-4, The Woodlands, Texas 77380 and offers a 10% discount to all current and former military and all first responders.