U.S. Congressional Legislators to Address Sex Trafficking at IGNITE Conference in St. Louis March 2 – 4

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Influential legislators U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner and U.S. Congressman Ted Poe will speak at “IGNITE: Sparking Action Against Sex Trafficking” from March 2 – 4 at the St. Louis Union Station DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.

IGNITE, sponsored by the new social action organization Exchange Initiative, is the first national conference to address the sex trafficking issue from a comprehensive perspective. The conference will engage, educate and empower diverse stakeholders – criminal justice professionals, first responders, corporate managers, not-for-profit organizations and educators – in the fight against sex trafficking.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner, Second District of Missouri, will present the conference Opening General Session on Sunday, March 2, 6:30 p.m., sharing the podium with three sex trafficking survivors who are advocates and book authors – Holly Austin Smith, author of Walking Prey; Katie Rhoades, Executive Director of the Healing Action Network; and Christine McDonald, author of Cry Purple.

Congresswoman Wagner testified on the issue of sex trafficking before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee in January 2014. She has committed to making sex trafficking a legislative priority in 2014.

The general public is invited to attend the IGNITE opening session and a meet-and-greet reception from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Reservations for the reception, which will include hors d’ oeuvres and a cash bar, are $25 and can be made at www.exchangeinitiative.com; click on the Meet & Greet button on any page to register.

Congressman Ted Poe, Second District of Texas, will present the conference Keynote Speech on Monday, March 3, at 9 a.m. Congressman Poe co-sponsored the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2013 (H.R. 3530) to support and protect victims of child sex trafficking, child pornography, sexual exploitation and human trafficking through increased law enforcement, enhanced services to victims, and greater penalties.

More than 15 distinguished panelists and speakers at the IGNITE conference will address various facets of the sex trafficking issue. Presenters will include professionals from law enforcement, social action organizations, education, and the medical field. For details and registration, visit www.exchangeinitiative.com/ignite.

Conference registration fees and corporate sponsorships will support Exchange Initiative’s development of a new national resource database to combat sex trafficking. The database will include photos of hotel and motel rooms to assist investigators in locating victims; certified training information; links to community service agencies; and action plans for corporations and citizens.

Nix Conference & Meeting Management has led the charge among meeting planners worldwide to help end child sex trafficking in hotels. In addition to developing the IGNITE Conference and Exchange Initiative, Nix addresses the sex trafficking issue with management at every hotel where they do business. They initiated and signed the first-ever Meeting Planners Code of Conduct with ECPAT-USA in 2012.

Exchange Initiative combats child sex trafficking in hotels by empowering individuals and organizations with information, networking and real resources. For more information, call Molly Hackett at (314) 645-6712 or visit www.ExchangeInitiative.com.

Nix Conference & Meeting Management, based in St. Louis, manages meetings, conferences and trade shows for associations, religious organizations, businesses and nonprofits. Nix has managed events on four continents and in 17 countries since 1985. For more information, call (314) 645-1455 or visit www.nixassoc.com.

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