January 23/03 11:34 am - Brian Walton Joins Team Snow Valley
Posted by Editoress on 01/23/03
Brian Walton Joins Team Snow Valley
Courtesy Threshold Sports
What do Olympic cyclists do long after they've hung up their racing wheels? If they are business executives Brian Walton (silver medallist for Canada in 1996) and David Chauner (member of the 1968 & 1972 U.S. Olympic Cycling Teams), they join forces to grow Team Snow Valley, a Maryland-based amateur cycling team that is fast becoming one of the best in the United States.
Walton, 36, is the Wellness Director for Snow Valley Spring Water, a company that began sponsoring a local amateur cycling team in 1986. When Walton was hired by CEO, John LaPides in 2000, his job description included taking over the coaching and development of Team Snow Valley, a group of dedicated local amateur cyclists with lofty ambitions but little knowledge of how to reach Olympic caliber. Walton is dedicated to getting them there.
Chauner, 54, is CEO of Threshold Sports, a Pennsylvania-based event management company that produces the top professional bicycle races in the country including the 19-year-old Wachovia USPRO Championship in Philadelphia, the nation's biggest international cycling event. Long recognizing the need to help grow grass roots cycling, Threshold Sports was looking to help support the growth of good amateur teams from the region.
"It was a logical connection," said Chauner. "Under LaPides and Walton, Team Snow Valley is one of the best organized and most professional of the amateur cycling organizations in the nation. By representing them for sponsorship and helping to shape their charitable fundraising, we see Team Snow Valley as a model for producing future Olympic and pro cycling talent."
The challenge for Walton and Threshold Sports is to raise enough money to help support Team Snow Valley's ambitious mission to field elite level men's, women's and junior teams that compete on the regional and national level in some fifty events between March and October. In addition to the elite teams, Snow Valley organizes several local racing events and runs the Snow Valley MS 150 Ride that generates over $500,000 for the local Multiple Sclerosis Society. Plus, Walton is determined to find, coach and help support young cyclists who exhibit the team's character building vision of "Perseverance, performance and pursuit of excellence." Team Snow Valley was named Top Amateur Team of the Year in 1996 and 98 by the United States Cycling Federation.
Walton and Chauner cite the current popularity and health benefits of cycling, the visibility of Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, and the uncluttered and relatively inexpensive opportunities for sponsors as good reasons why companies and contributors will support Team Snow Valley's mission. Plus they aren't ones to shy away from Olympian tasks.