Mary Mooney McConnell is pictured with her family at the North State Innovator Awards held in Chico last week at Sierra Nevada Brewery. McConnell and her brother/partner Steve Mooney (far left) are pictured with their mother Gretchen Mooney and McConnell's son Michael. McConnell was presented with the Outstanding Woman Innovator of the Year Award for 2012 in recognition of the vast success of Mooney Farms located in Chico. (Photo provided)

Prem Chand is a Biggs High School graduate, class of 1983. He is also one of the local nominees of the North State Innovation Awards held in Chico November 1 at Sierra Nevada Brewery. His business, Milestone Technologies has transformed from a systems relocation company to a true IT managed services provider, supporting such names as Google and Facebook. Milestone Technologies delivers cutting edge services and products since 1997.

Donna Bayliss' Lavender mecca at Bayliss Ranch, a leader in sustainable farming, was recognized for the USDA organic products that grow at Rio Bonito and Highway 99. Blossoms used for each certified bottle of the lavender products adds up to 50,000. Bayliss Ranch has been family owned and operated since 1865 and was voted most innovative at the Baltimore Natural Products Expo. Visit their gift shop and experience the beautiful scent of lavender or just enjoy the beautiful sight while just driving by. The fresh aroma will draw you in.

Joe Matz, President of Recology was recognized for his tireless contributions not only to sports, but many other community causes.

Mary Mooney McConnell was named Outstanding Innovative Woman in Business for her constant, refreshing new ideas when it comes to not only tomato products such as sun dried for Bella Sun Luci at Mooney Farms in Chico, but for what the business has come to be famous for when it comes to healthy eating. A new partnership with Morning Star Company, a premium California tomato processor will combine technologies and expertise to bring the former Valley Sun facility to a new level. If you have not visited Mooney Farms near the airport in Chico, you are truly missing out. Order customized gift baskets for family and friends or visit their website at

McConnell gives her brother Steve a lot of credit for making her ideas come true. "He makes my ideas happen. He has engineered the machinery to make it all happen - we have an amazing team!" she stated.

"I am honored to be included with people who are changing the world - such great innovators," McConnell said.