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Apr 20, 2024

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CT Immigrant and Refugee Coalition To Honor
Immigrants And Their Contributions

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced that she will be joining the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC) in hosting the 19th annual Immigrant Day Ceremony at the State Capitol in Hartford. The ceremony will take place on Tuesday April 21, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in the Old Judiciary Room on the 3rd floor of the State Capitol in Hartford. Immigrant Day honors Connecticut’s immigrants , and celebrates their long lasting contributions to their communities and professions. This year’s ceremony will honor 13 immigrants originally from 13 different countries who live in Connecticut. A complete list of honorees can be found at the end of this news release.

“It is a great honor to pay tribute to hard working citizens who contribute so much to our communities who, in some cases, overcame very difficult circumstances to come to America, just like my family did 100 years ago,” said Secretary Merrill. “Our strength as a democracy comes from our diversity and the fact that anyone – from anywhere in the world – can succeed in this country if they work hard enough. Each of those honored on Immigrant Day have not only done well for themselves and their families, but they have also had a lasting impact in their community. Our entire state has benefitted from their talent and tireless efforts.”

The keynote speaker for the 2012 Immigrant Day Ceremony is Darko Tresnjak, the artistic director of Hartford Stage since 2011. Mr. Tresnjak immigrated to the United States in 1976 from Zemun, Yugoslavia which is now part of Serbia. He has a long and distinguished career of directing stage and opera productions, and won a 2014 Tony Award for “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.” Master of ceremonies for the event will be Hena Daniels, the daughter of immigrants from Pakistan who lives in Greenwich and spent 10 years as a television news reporter and anchor for WFSB Channel 3 in Connecticut. Ms. Daniels is now a freelance news reporter for WPIX TV and Newspath in New York City. Also being honored for their contributions to the community are Ilya Tsvok of West Hartford and Atena Ancuta of Fairfield.
Immigrant Day is sponsored by the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition (CIRC) and the Secretary of the State’s Office. CIRC is an association of ethnic and social service organizations working to promote the rights and opportunities of immigrants and refugees in Connecticut, and to foster their civic participation.

April 21, 2015 – 18th Annual Immigrant Day Honorees
Honorees – Country of Origin – CT Residence
Darko Tresnjak* Ukraine Hartford
Gordon Scott Jamaica Hartford
Andrzej Mazur Poland Farmington
Oni Chukwu Nigeria Orange
Dr. Pauline Olsen Ireland Farmington
Dr. Naseema Merchant Pakistan Middletown
Morad Garakani Iran New Haven
Ilya Tsvok Ukraine West Hartford
Dilton Dornelas Brazil West Hartford
Atena Ancuta Romania Fairfield
Gioi Tran Vietnam Bridgeport
Jorge Perez Cuba New Haven
*keynote speaker