New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper


9th Annual Connie Wilson Collins Exceptional Women Concert


The Queen Ann Nzinga Center, Inc. will host its 9th annual Connie Wilson Collins Exceptional Women Concert, honoring outstanding women from the Greater Bristol, Plainville and New Britain community on March 24. The celebration includes live musical performances, poetry, dance and tributes to the honorees. Betty Harris and Nzinga’s Daughters and more will perform.

The event was renamed in 2014 in honor of Constance “Connie” Renee Wilson Collins (1928-2013), an African-American woman who made a tremendous contribution to the Greater New Britain community. Collins worked to help people reach their full potential through her work in political, spiritual, fraternal and nonprofit organizations.

Collins is an exemplary role model for the children and teens who participate in the Queen Ann Nzinga Center programs, says Executive Director Dayna Snell, and she continues to inspire youth to reach their full potential and use their talents for the good of the community.

The 2018 celebration will honor: Valeriana DeBrito of Rocky Hill; Pamela Floyd- Cranford of Manchester: Pamela Kristoff of Plainville; Eileen McNulty of Bristol; Tracy Nixon Moore of New Britain and Mayor Erin Stewart of New Britain.

The public is invited to attend the concert and celebration on March 24th at 4pm at Trinity-on-Main on 19 Chestnut Street, New Britain. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors. Tickets are available on our website at, at the door at the event, or contacting QANC at 860-229-8389. All proceeds help fund programming for the Queen Ann Nzinga Center, a nonprofit which emphasizes artistic expression and teamwork to build program participants’ skills. The Queen Ann Nzinga Center and Trinity-on-Main are collaborating on the event. For more information please email the QANC at


Valeriana DeBrito

Valeriana Angelina Gomes DeBrito – 56 was raised in Waterbury Connecticut. Born on the island of Soa Nicolau in Cape Verde on the West Coast of Africa. Her family migrated from the Island to Portugal when she was age seven and to the USA when she was fourteen. She attended Wilby High School, graduated with high honors and was inducted into the National Honors Society. After high school, Ms. DeBrito attended Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration one year after the birth of her daughter.

Pamela Floyd-Cranford

Pamela Floyd-Cranford, (LCSW), is passionate about helping people and has dedicated her life to supporting children and families in Connecticut. She has worked for the Department of Children and Families, (DCF) for 29 years as a social worker and program manager.

Pamela L. Kristoff

Pamela L. Kristoff is 53 years of age and came from a life of hard knocks. Even though growing had it struggles, it never kept her from trying to succeed in life. She attended Plainville High school but did not graduate. In her late twenties Pamela, returned to school and received her GED. Even though things were not easy Pamela a had heart for service. She loved to help others and was a natural artist. Pamela volunteered at Queen Ann Nzinga Center, (personal enrichment program then) as a chaperone and an artist. She cooked for the children in the program as well as lead arts and craft activities.

Eileen McNulty

Eileen has worked in the fields of mental health and human services for 37 years and has received awards for her achievements by the Connecticut Youth Service Bureau Association and the Connecticut Chapter of the Nation Association of Social Work.

Eileen’s efforts aim on strengthening community wellness through the development of initiatives and programs that are culturally responsive, collaborative and empowering.

She has performed active outreach efforts within schools and high crime areas coaching neighborhood leaders to engage in diversity dialogues and create safe havens. Eileen has been successful in accessing resources to increase opportunities for young people and their families to prevent violence, child endangerment, youth substance abuse and involvement with the juvenile justice system and homelessness.

Tracy Nixon Moore

Tracy Nixon-Moore has worked as a professional in training, human resources and leadership development for over 20 years. Tracy started her career as an underwriter at CIGNA, later moving into training, leadership development and talent management roles at Aetna. Her career includes experiences in large corporations, as a recruiter and in Human Resources business partner in the non-profit sector. She currently works as a Director at Travelers in Enterprise Organization Effectiveness.

Mayor Erin Stewart

Erin Stewart, 30, is the 40th Mayor of the City of New Britain, Connecticut. She was first elected at the age of 26 in November 2013 and was re-elected to second and third terms in 2015 and 2017, respectively. She is the youngest mayor in the city’s history and the only female mayor of New Britain to be elected to more than one term. She is the youngest female Mayor in the United States of America. Stewart was first elected to public office in 2011 when she served on the Board of Education for the Consolidated School District of New Britain. She is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University. From infrastructure improvements in parks and schools, being named a 2016 and 2017 “All-America City” by the National Civic League, beautification projects, eliminating chronic family homelessness, boosting community pride, an energy and innovation initiative, and the creation of more than 700 new jobs, Mayor Stewart has helped to usher in a new era for New Britain. Mayor Stewart has received numerous awards and recognitions for her service and leadership. She has been the subject of in-depth profiles by national media outlets such as the New York Times, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Time Magazine, and Newsmax.