ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – In a recent ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C., FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III recognized Kimberly Ritter of St. Charles with the 2012 Director’s Community Leadership Award.
Ritter, a senior account manager at Nix Conference & Meeting Management, was one of just 58 leaders nationwide selected by area FBI field offices for outstanding contributions to their local communities. The St. Louis Division selected Ritter for her work as an advocate for victims of sex trafficking.
“Whatever the motivation—an unfilled need, a tragic occurrence, a desire to give back—these are people who make things happen and enlist others in their cause,” said Mueller. “They are activists who have earned their prestige through good works.”
Ritter first became aware of child sex trafficking through her role as a senior account manager for Nix Conference & Meeting Management, based in St. Louis. In 2008, Ritter was planning a conference for the U.S. Federation of the Sisters of Joseph when the group said it would only book a hotel that had an anti-human trafficking policy. As a result, in 2011, the Millennium Hotel became the first hotel in St. Louis to sign the ECPAT (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking) Code of Conduct and to train staff to spot possible trafficking situations.
Ritter and Nix Conference & Meeting Management have since used their access to hotel general managers to raise awareness about child sex trafficking and to encourage hotels to sign the ECPAT code of conduct. By signing the code, hotels commit to training their staff to identify and report possible child sex trafficking in their facilities and to annually report incidents to ECPAT, a human rights organization.
In 2012, Nix Conference & Meeting Management initiated and signed the first ECPAT Meeting Planners Code of Conduct. The company hopes to encourage the meeting planning industry nationwide to address the child sex trafficking issue at every hotel where they do business.
Nix Conference & Meeting Management, based in St. Louis, has managed meetings, conferences and trade shows for associations, religious organizations, businesses and nonprofits since 1985. Nix has managed events on four continents and in 17 countries. For more information, call (314) 645-1455 or visit dhd.064.myftpupload.com.