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Sex Trafficking & the Tech Industry

May 10 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm


What is the relationship between sex trafficking and business? The internet is where every sector of the economy conducts business. At the same time, the internet has also made it much easier to manage the business of forced prostitution. The internet is only half the problem. Did you know that 2pm is a peak time for soliciting sex online? Did you know that a majority of prostituted people said that they’ve met clients at their place of business? Employers in every sector of the economy are at great risk if they remain unaware or overlook the substantial volume of illegal sex transactions that take place during work hours.

To help end forced prostitution, tech employers have an opportunity to lead the way. How do we fight it using technology? How do we keep it out of our workplaces?

The Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) in partnership with Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST) is hosting a morning conference in Seattle on May 10, 2016 to debate and resolve how we as tech companies can combat illegal sex trafficking.



Registration and Breakfast


What is the issue? Definitions, data and details

Speaker: Val Richey


What’s the harm? Conversation with a survivor of prostitution and someone who works with convicted sex buyers

Speakers: Alisa Bernard & Mike Provenzano


Sex trafficking & sex buying – not your business?  (Panel)

Speakers: Heather Redman (moderator), Dawn Lepore, Bill Richter, Robb Monkman, Brent Turner


What support is available for businesses who want to engage with these issues?

Speaker: Mar Brettmann


Leading by Example. What has King County implemented with BEST?

Speaker: Dow Constantine



Dow Constantine, King County Executive was re-elected in 2013 by the largest margin of victory ever recorded for the office of King County Executive.

His second term is focused on meeting two of the greatest generational challenges of our time: building equity and opportunity, and confronting climate change. Guiding every initiative is the goal of becoming the most forward-looking and best-run government in the nation.


Bill-Richter 2

Bill Richter is Partner at Madrona Ventures, is on the WTIA Executive Committee and is WTIA Board Chair. Bill’s also President of the Isilon Storage Division of EMC. With revenues of $20 billion in 2011 and more than 53,000 people worldwide, EMC is a global leader in enabling   businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service.





Heather Redman is VP Business Ops and GC, Indix Corporation, Founder and Director at Summit Power Group, and is an Angel Investor, Advisor and Director. Prior to her current roles, Heather was SVP at Summit Power Group, Executive and Senior Vice President at each of Atom Entertainment, Getty Images and PhotoDisc and General Counsel of Getty Images, a publicly traded company.




Studio J Photo - Jay Kelly Photo - Jay Kelly SF CA 94107

Dawn Lepore is the former CEO and Chairman of the Board of drugstore.com, inc., a leading online retailer of health, beauty, and wellness products, which she led from 2004 until the successful sale to Walgreens in 2011.During her tenure, Dawn repositioned the company to focus on the over-the-counter, beauty, and vision businesses and led the company to record revenues, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow.




Robb Monkman is the CEO and co-founder of React Mobile. He has over a decade of marketing and management experience at multiple start-ups. Prior to launching React Mobile, Monkman served as the Marketing Director for software startup marketing emergency communications software to the Department of Defense (DoD) and to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).




IMG_0425Mike Provenzano, ‘Men’s Accountability’ facilitator, OPS, currently helps facilitate Stopping Sexual Exploitation: a program for Men classes, created and operated by The Organization for Prostitution Survivors. Men are mandated to attend the program after being convicted of buying sex in some King County municipalities. Men who want to stop buying sex also self-refer to the program. Additionally, Mike helps deliver human trafficking prevention curriculum in Puget Sound high schools for Seattle Against Slavery (SAS).



Valiant Richey is a King County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.  For the last seven years, he’s worked in the Special Assault Unit, which handles cases involving the sexual abuse of children and adults and the physical abuse of children.  Currently, Val is a senior trial attorney in the unit and is responsible for prosecuting cases involving sex traffickers and the purchase of children for sex.  





As a survivor of prostitution, Alisa Bernard understands firsthand that prostitution and trafficking are systemic societal problems negatively changing the lives of women, children, and men. Alisa is a powerful public speaker and educator who regularly presents regionally and nationally on the topics of prostitution and trafficking related trauma, victim identification, mentoring, women’s equality, men’s accountability, and gender socialization as it relates to gender-based violence. 




Mar Smith Brettmann, PhD, founded Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST). For ten years, Mar worked as a professor at universities in the U.S., Malaysia, and the West Indies, where she taught courses in philosophy, ethics, and religion and published peer-reviewed articles and essays on human rights topics. In her research, she found herself increasingly concerned about the brutal exploitation of children, women, and impoverished laborers that takes place through human trafficking. As a result, Mar convened a group of trusted advisers with expertise in human trafficking and business responsibility to create BEST.


BrentBrent Turner is Chief Operating Officer of Rover.com, the nation’s largest network of loving pet sitters and dog walkers. He also worked in various roles at aQuantive, as Executive Vice President of Call Advertising Products for Marchex, and as General Manager of Search and Display Media Network for Microsoft. Turner is also Chairman of the Board of Directors for REST (Real Escape from the Sex Trade), a faith-based nonprofit in Seattle that provides pathways to freedom, safety, and hope for women and girls caught in the ravages of the sex trade.  .



May 10
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Anna Choi


PacMed Center
1200 12th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98114 United States
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