Butte College Foundation

2015-2016 Butte College Outstanding Alumni of the Year

Congratulations to the two 2015-2016 Outstanding Alumni of the Year: Arnoldo Avalos and Kory Honea:

Arnoldo Avalos

Avalos Foundation Arnoldo Avalos

Arnoldo Avalos is the youngest of seven children who worked as migrant farm workers across the Northwest while growing up. Growing up in Gridley, Avalos attended Butte College from 1986-1991 while enrolled at Gridley High School, and went on to earn a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a Master's Degree from Harvard University. Avalos enjoyed a successful career in management, working for companies such as Cisco Systems, Google, and Facebook. In 2013 he co-founded the Avalos Foundation with his wife. The private foundation aims to provide scholarships and mentorship to students from the upper Sacramento Valley who lack the resources to succeed. Arnoldo is also a member of the Latino Community Foundation Board of Trustees and a founding member of Hermanos Unidos in 1989. In 2014, he was appointed to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors by Governor Jerry Brown, where he helps oversee 113 community colleges.


Kory Honea

Butte County Sheriff Jerry Smith

Student athlete and honors student, Kory Honea received his law enforcement training in the 81st Basic Law Enforcement Academy at Butte College and earned his AA Degree in Social Science in 1991. He joined the Butte County Sheriff's Office in 1993 when he was hired as a Deputy Sheriff. Climbing the ranks, Sheriff Kory Honea became the 31st Sheriff of Butte County in 2014. Ho-NEE also holds a Juris Doctorate from Taft School of Law and is a member of the State Bar of California.

2014-2015 Butte College Outstanding Alumni of the Year

"Butte College is proud to recognize two outstanding alumni have been selected as our outstanding alumni of the year for demonstrated excellence in their professional areas of expertise," said Dr. Kimberly Perry, Butte College President. "It's exciting to note many of our alumni are touching lives not only in our communities in Butte and Glenn Counties, but also statewide, nationally and internationally. When our students succeed, it benefits our communities."

The two Butte College outstanding alumni selected this year include Alex DuBose, owner of the Rental Guys and Jerry W. Smith, retired Butte County Sheriff.

Alex DuBose

Alex DuBoseAlex DuBose, owner of Rental Guys in Chico attended Butte College beginning in the Fall of 1990, taking business and agriculture classes. At the age of 21, DuBose took over the daily operations of Rental Guys in Chico from his father. Rental Guys has been a family-owned business since 1972. Over the last 23 years, DuBose has expanded the business from the single store into a chain with locations in Chico, Gridley, Red Bluff, Redding, and Susanville. In 2012, Alex was awarded the Small Business of the Year by State Assemblyman Dan Logue, 3rd District. A long-time resident of Butte County, DuBose was honored for his business success and ability to grow a business with 30 employees, during a tough economy.

Jerry W. Smith

Jerry W. SmithJerry Smith's journey with the Butte County Sheriff's Office has spanned 36 years. Smith attended the 12th Butte College Law Enforcement Academy in 1977 and started with the Sheriff's Office as a reserve at 19 years old. He was hired full time a year later. Jerry advanced through the ranks of deputy, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and sheriff and was instrumental in developing the Sheriff's Aviation Program – now known as one of the best law enforcement aviation programs in Northern California. Smith became the County's 30th sheriff on Dec. 31, 2009, when appointed by the Butte County Supervisors. He later ran unopposed and retired from the Butte County Sheriff's Office in 2014. Smith has had a diverse law enforcement career, holding nearly every assignment available from corrections to investigations"

2013-2014 Butte College Outstanding Alumni of the Year

"Butte College is proud to recognize two outstanding alumni have been selected as our outstanding alumni of the year for demonstrated excellence in their professional areas of expertise," said Dr. Kimberly Perry, Butte College President. "It's exciting to note many of our alumni are touching lives not only in our communities in Butte and Glenn Counties, but also statewide, nationally and internationally. When our students succeed, it benefits our communities."

The two Butte College outstanding alumni selected this year include Mary Mooney, Mooney Farms, and John E. McAmis, J.E. McAmis, Inc.

Mary Mooney

Mary MooneyButte College alumna and entrepreneur Mary Mooney attended Butte College from 1982-1984 and transferred to earn her bachelor's degree from Chico State. Mooney Farms, founded in 1987, was a family-owned kiwi farming operation and Mary was instrumental in growing the business with her sales and marketing expertise. Today, Mooney Farms is home to 50 full time employees, processes 10 million pounds of sun-dried tomatoes annually, and ships product around the world. The Chico-based, quarter-century-old company has catapulted sun-dried tomatoes into a culinary staple, and produces 75 percent of the sun-dried tomatoes consumed in the nation. From the time Mooney Farms began, Mary performed many of the daily functions of operations and administration. With their move to Chico and large growth, Mary's main focus became sales and marketing, tradeshows, key corporate sales, and expanding international business.

John McAmis

John McAmisAlumnus John McAmis graduated from Oroville High School in 1964. After enlisting in the California Army National Guard, he transferred to the United States Navy Seabee's for two tours of duty in Vietnam. Returning to California, John enrolled in Butte College in the Fall of 1968 when the campus was in Durham. John served as the College's first Student Body President, and was one of the College's first bus drivers. John later transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins for the Construction Management (CM) Program. Upon completion, John moved to Chico with his wife Renee and started their business, J.E. McAmis, Inc. in 1973. After several years of state highway projects, bridge construction and tunnel projects, John then focused on heavy civil marine construction projects. Today, J.E. McAmis, Inc. has successfully completed numerous marine construction projects all across the country, earning recognition awards for safety and innovation in the industry.


2012-2013 Butte College Outstanding Alumni

The four Butte College outstanding alumni selected this year include Kelly Candaele, writer and filmmaker; Teri Dougherty, platform artist/hair designer; Stephen Gonsalves, principal architect, Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto Architects and Engineers; and Larry Jones, Glenn County Sheriff.

Kelly Candaele, Award-winning Writer and Filmmaker

Kelly Candaele

Alumnus Kelly Candaele is an accomplished writer and filmmaker.  He has written extensively for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, The Nation magazine, and National Public Radio.  As a journalist, Candaele accompanied President Clinton on three trips to Northern Ireland. He has produced a number of award-winning documentaries, including “A League of Their Own,” about his mother’s experience as a professional baseball player in the All American Girl’s Professional Baseball League and he wrote the story for the feature film, “A League of Their Own,” starring Tom Hanks and Geena Davis. In addition, Candaele has produced several award-winning films on the life of assassinated Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, and another on Harry Wu, Chinese human rights activist. Candaele has lectured at colleges and universities and has served as a trustee for the Los Angeles Community College District since 1996. He is currently working on a documentary about the history of soccer in Calcutta, India.

Teri Dougherty, Award Winning Stylist

Teri Dougherty

Teri Dougherty is an alumna of the Butte College Cosmetology Program.  She has designed hair for international fashion runways, television and film.  She is an award-winning platform artist, freelance hair designer, creative director, and editorial consultant. Teri serves as the Artistic Advisor for Aloxxi International Hair Color, the founder of OPI Nails. Teaching in over 28 countries and throughout the US, Teri is sought out by stylists around the world for her innovative education and cutting-edge design. She is one of the most highly requested and well-traveled stylists and educators in the world.  Teri created the website Hairconcepts.com. and brings her expertise in teaching hairdressing and styling to professional hairdressers. In addition, each year she releases her own collections of new looks that she has spent the previous year developing, both in theory and in practice.  She was named "One of the Top 75 Educators of the 20th Century" by Modern Salon Magazine  and won the Hair Colorist of the Year for the “International Haircolor Exchange”

Steve Gonsalves, Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto Architects, Principal

Steve Gonsalves

Alumnus Steve Gonsalves joined Nichols, Melburg & Rossetto in 1988 as Manager and Director of the Structural Engineering Division. He later became principal-in-charge of the Chico office. A licensed architect and registered structural engineer, Steve has led the design team for several award-winning local projects including the Sierra Nevada Brewery Expansion, Nettleton Stadium on the CSU, Chico campus, and the 555 Main Street mixed use building in Chico. Steve specializes in the design of health care facilities including acute care hospital expansions and renovations, outpatient clinics and medical office buildings. Some of Steve’s local health care projects include the Enloe Cancer Center, the Feather River Hospital Emergency Services Expansion and the Feather River Health Clinic in Paradise. Steve has a demonstrated commitment to community service serving as Chairman of the Board of Innovate North State, President of the Rotary Club of Chico and Chair of the CSU, Chico College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management Advisory Board. His professional accomplishments and community involvement earned honors by the Chico Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year and as a Distinguished Alumnus for the CSU, Chico College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management.

Larry Jones, Glenn County Sheriff

Larry Jones

Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones grew up in Glenn County and attended Butte College majoring in Physical Education.  Prior to graduation he transferred to CSU, Chico where he completed his bachelor’s degree.  With almost 40 years of experience in law enforcement, Sheriff Jones is recognized throughout the public safety industry in California.  With insufficient funds to provide his County with the level of services he believes they deserves, he not only conducts all the administrative work—which is more than a full time job, but he also fills in by working patrol and special details from time to time.  Sheriff Jones is one of the few, if not only, sheriff’s showing such dedication to an agency.  He also has worked as an assistant firearms instructor in the Butte College Law Enforcement Academy.

Nominate an Alumni

The Outstanding Alumni Award is selected and presented by the Butte College Foundation in recognition of outstanding personal and professional achievements.

Each year the Butte College Foundation selects deserving alumni to receive our Outstanding Alumni Award in recognition of outstanding personal and professional achievements.

  • Nominees shall be alumni of Butte College who have distinguished themselves at a high level of achievement in their particular field of study, life’s work, or community service.
  • Individuals may be nominated posthumously.
  • Nominations may be submitted by any member of the public.
Please help us keep this tradition alive.  If you have an alumnus you would like to nominate to receive this honor, please send your completed nomination form to: foundation@butte.edu  or
Butte College Foundation
3536 Butte Campus Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

(530) 895-2359; fax (530) 879-6168

Prior Outstanding Alumni Honored at Spring Ceremony

2016                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Arnoldo Avalos                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Kory Honea

Alex DuBose
Jerry W. Smith

Mary Mooney
John McAmis

Kelly Candaele
Teri Dougherty
Stephen Gonsalves
Larry Jones

Dr. Allan Forbes – Meritorious Service Award
Melinda Kennemer
Zachary Smith
Joseph Wujek

Bill Berryhill
David Lundberg
George Morris

Jim Culp
David Mobilio - Posthumously
Perry Reniff
Aaron Rodgers

Daryl Bender
Jim Broshears
Kyle Lohse
Julia Sabin

John J. Cassidy
Norm B. Nielsen
Steve Olmos
Susan Webber-Brown

2007 – Ceremony not held
2006 – Ceremony not held

J. Chimene Bateman
Maisie Jane Bertagna
David Hawkins
Elizabeth Kyle

Larry Allen
Cheryl Leeth
Doug LaMalfa
Pat Walsh

Samantha Gordon
Donald Hoff
John Jones
Ruth Pascale Jones
John Sutherland

Robert Anderson
Leonard Estes
Candice Grubbs
William Hunter

Rogelio Castaneda
Captain Russell Fowler

Bryan Hanson
Danny Meyer
Jerry Wimmer
Cynthia Sutherland

Robert Harp
Ken Grossman
Stan Thompson