Fellin Lecture Will Focus on the Fight against Child Sex Trafficking | Benedictine College

Fellin Lecture Will Focus on the Fight against Child Sex Trafficking

Monday, September 15, 2014

The 18th Annual Fellin Lecture at Benedictine College will address the fight against child sex trafficking and will feature Kimberly Ritter, senior account manager at Nix Conference & Meeting Management and the leader of the company’s corporate social responsibility trafficking initiative. Her presentation, “Combating Trafficking:  A Call to All for Action,” will offer insights into the issue as it relates to hotel properties. The event is set for Sunday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in O’Malley-McAllister Auditorium on the Benedictine College campus.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica Monastery present the Fellin Lecture each year with the sponsorship of the Fellin Endowment Fund in order to support the liberal arts orientation of Benedictine College.  Past lectures in the series have included “Soul Food: Kansas Nuns Teach Journalist to Sit Still, Be Quiet, and Find Home” by Judith Valente; “Responsibility of the Artist in View of 9/1”1 by Sister Diane Couture, SSJ; “Benedict, Francis and Thomas: Contributions to Environmental Ethics from a Catholic, Christian Perspective” by James Schaefer; “Dialogue of Hope: The Future of Catholic Relations with Muslims” by Sandra Keating; and “Illuminating the Word: The Saint John’s Bible” by Mary Irene Nowell, OSB.

Ritter is a veteran in the meeting planning industry and Nix Conference is a corporate leader in combating child sex trafficking. The company was recently awarded international recognition as a Top Member for The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourismas one of 13 U.S. companies from around the world who are true leaders of child protection in tourism. The Code is an industry-driven corporate responsibility initiative. Together, Ritter and Nix have been dedicated to fighting sex trafficking in hotel properties since 2008.

Aside from her work as a meeting planner, Ritter brings awareness to the issue of sex trafficking through speaking engagements, written articles, and press interviews. She volunteers with law enforcement to work with victims and parents of victims that have experienced sex trafficking in St. Louis. She is also the Director of the Development for Exchange Initiative, a newly formed organization by Nix Conference & Meeting Management to educate, empower and engage individuals and organizations with real resources to help put an end to sex trafficking. Exchange Initiative is currently developing a Smartphone application which will invite travelers to capture hotel room images with their camera phones and upload those images to a database. The app will provide consistent protocol to improve the ability of investigators to match photos being searched online for missing children. 

Ritter recently received the Congressional Victim’s Rights Caucus Allied Professional Award. Other awards and recognition include the 2012 FBI Director's Community Leadership Award 2012, the 2013 Missouri Athletic Club’s Woman of Distinction, the 2012 St. Louis Woman of Achievement for Human Welfare Award, and she was selected by Successful Meetings Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential People in the Meetings Industry in 2012.

Ritter also serves as vice president of the Board of Directors for the Healing Action Network; Advisory Board Member for ECAPT–USA; Board of Directors for Women of Achievement; and a member of the Religious Conference Management Association.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.