Although this mission is quite an undertaking, we continue to strive to raise awareness about those issues that have the greatest impact on motorists, in general, and motorcyclists, in particular. We ask that those in the motorcycle community assist us in any way they can. One of our strongest desires is to develop relationships with riders, regardless of race, nationality, gender, or club affiliation.
Mississippi MoToSteps Motorcycle Safety Training, Inc. (MoToSteps) was founded in January 2006 and obtained its 501 (c) 3 non profit status effective January 19, 2006. It was founded with the mission to help keep Mississippi’s roadways safer for motorists, particularly motorcyclists. Although MoToSteps provides motorcycle safety training, its goal is to work with schools, hospitals, motorcycle clubs, as well as other interested entities to raise awareness about the issue of motorcycle safety.
The idea of the organization began because the organization’s CEO, Robert Walton, observed the need. He had several friends die or become seriously injured due to unsafe motorcycle riding techniques. Since 2006, MoToSteps has provided MSF certified basic rider training to more 300 new and re-entry riders and 103 military personnel. The primary interest of this organization is to develop safer riders through quality, certified rider training and by raising awareness of the importance of developing safer riding techniques. The ultimate goal is to become a database for information regarding roadway and rider safety.
Robert Walton, Jr. (Rob)
Robert Walton, Jr. is founder of Mississippi MoToSteps, as well as its CEO and Board Chairman. He founded Mississippi MoToSteps in January 2006 to provide MSF certified rider training to new and re-entry riders across the state. An example of his dedication to providing safe riding instruction, Rob obtained his MSF rider coach certification in February 2006 in Oklahoma---during one of the coldest weeks there. Throughout the ice and snow, Rob accomplished the task and returned to Mississippi more determined than ever to ensure that motorcyclists learn safer riding techniques. However, he has expanded his mission to include providing information about safer riding techniques and the need for all motorists to share the road. He not only wants to have MoToSteps serve as a rider training facility---his plans are to expand its services to automobile driver training and ATV training.
Robert is an experienced small business owner. Although he has worked in several capacities in the private sector, he branched out to form Grafix Depot in 2000. Since then he has expanded his service from basic graphic designs for t-shirts to intricate designs for an array of items, as well as embroidery. As a businessperson, Robert has grown his business to be a successful small business entity.
Kimvely Catchings (Kim)
Kim began working with MoToSteps since its inception in 2006. She began to serve as the administrative arm of the organization. However, after watching the course participants learn to ride safely, she took an active interest and completed the MSF basic rider course. Now she is the demo rider for the program and does the demonstrations during the rider training courses. With Rob, Kim has built relationships with motorcycle clubs, the military rider training facilities, and GEICO to form a consortium of like-minded individuals and businesses.
Kim is the Chief Administrative Officer/Vice President of Operations and Board Vice Chair for MoToSteps. She obtained her MBA in Human Resource Management in 2005 from Baker College in Flint, Michigan. She has also served as a small business/entrepreneurial consultant. She worked to help small business owners build their businesses to become more profitable by using proven business management techniques, which include budgeting, customer service, staffing, and other administrative needs. She is a firm believer that everyone with a great business idea should also have a great business sense.
Aaren Catchings (Double A)
Double A serves as the organization’s Assistant to the Assistant Rider Coach. He is being mentored by Robert and Kim, not only about relating to various people, but also about the need for safe riding skills. He is our example that young people can be encouraged and shown to practice safe rider skills and pass the message on to others.
Jenes Moore (J-Mo)
Sgt At Arms
Board Member Since 2010
J-Mo is from West Point, MS. He has been a motorcyclist since 2000. He completed the MSF RidersCoach course, which included completing the MSF BRC (Basic Rider Course), ARC (Advanced Rider Course), and ERC (Experienced Rider Course). J-Mo is a motorcycle safety enthusiast. He believes in the principle that anyone who wants to learn to ride should do so properly...so he/she will learn to avoid hazards and be more visible in traffic. J-Mo has been a member of Ruff Ryders Motorcycle Club since 2006.
Keisha Varnell (aka d 1st Lady)
Public Relations Committee Chair
Board Member Since 2009
Keisha Varnell, a graduate of the University of Southern Miss, is the Founder of H.O.T. in Miss (Helping Our Teens) A community based program that is dedicated to educating, empowering, and, encouraging teens and young adults to take pride in themselves and their communities and addressing issues that affects the health and positive development of young women and girls in Mississippi. Keisha also works with various Domestic Violence agencies throughout the state with trainings and facilitating workshops on Domestic Violence, Family Crisis Intervention, Sexual Assault, and Women’s Mental Health issues.
Keisha’s passion to help women and the passion to raise awareness about Motorcycle Safety led her to co-found the “Keep N Check” Female Motorcycle Safety Training, in collaboration with MotoSteps and Ladyz of Hot Pursuit. This partnership gave birth to the FIRST Female Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in the State of Mississippi. Keisha Varnell completed the MotoSteps MSF course in 2008 and has been proactive in their efforts to raise awareness of the importance of proper motorcycle safety training since that time.
Keisha, also respectfully known as D 1st Lady, is the President of SWAT MC- Sister’s With A Throttle Motorcycle Club.
Stephanie Harper (aka Quiet Storm)
Board Member Since 2010
Stephanie is married to Ed L. Harper and the mother of 3 sons (Demarius-13, Edgerrin-11, & Emmanuel-9). She received her BS in Elementary Education from Tougaloo College and her M.S. Ed in Educational Administration & Supervision from Jackson State University. She taught in the Jackson Public School System for 8 years before becoming the owner/director of S.E.E.D.S. Educational Enrichment Center in Jackson, MS.
Stephanie has always had a love for children and motorcycles, but until 2 years ago she didn't actually ride her own motorcycle.
Currently she rides her own motorcycle and is President of LADYZ of Hot Pursuit Rydrs MC (respectfully known as Quiet Storm). Now she is doing the two things she absolutely love!!
Sylvia Shields (aka Ms. Navigator)
Public Relations Committee
Board Member Since 2008
Sylvia is from New Orleans, LA. She is a Nationally Certified Medical Assistant. Sylvia relocated to Jackson, MS due to Hurricane Katrina in August 2006.
She completed the MoToSteps BRC in May 2008. Since she finished the course Sylvia has ridden her bike to Atlanta, GA and St. Louis, MO. She credits MoToSteps training techniques for her safe riding skills. She is passionate about motorcycling, motorcyclists, and their safety. She is currently the Public Relations Officer for Head Turners Motorcycle Club based in Coldwater, MS.
She has been on the Board of Directors since shortly after she completed the training course. She currently works for Jackson Public School Transportation as a Bus Attendant.