An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Kimberly Ritter's professional affiliations. A corrected version appears below.
An account executive for a Maplewood conference planning firm has been honored by the FBI for her work protecting children from sex trafficking.
Kimberly Ritter will travel to FBI headquarters in Washington in April to receive the 2012 Director's Community Leadership Award. According to a statement from the FBI, Ritter, in her job with Nix Conference & Meeting Management based in Maplewood, has opportunities to raise awareness about sex trafficking with hotel general managers.
"Ms. Ritter first became aware of the problem four-and-a-half years ago when a client wanted to know if the hotel she was booking for them had a policy on sex trafficking," according to the statement. "Since that time, Ms. Ritter’s employer, Nix, initiated and signed the first-ever Meeting Planners Code of Conduct in January 2012. The company hopes to encourage industry peers and competitors to join them in addressing the issue at every hotel where they do business."
The FBI says sex trafficking is different from prostitution because the victim is tricked into prostitution by force, fraud, or coercion.
On April 5, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III will personally present the award at a national ceremony in Washington, D.C. to all honorees selected by each of the 56 FBI field offices.
The DCLA was created in 1990 as the principle means for the FBI to honor individuals or organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence to help keep America and its kids safe.