NMSU’s Distinguished Alumni Award
Sponsored by the Alumni Association. The Distinguished Alumni award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves and brought honor and distinction to their Alma Mater. Seven awards, one for each undergraduate college and one for an international alumnus, are presented to living alumni. In addition, one or more posthumous awards may be made each year at the discretion of the Selection Committee. Nominees must have attended NMSU and are judged according to their contributions to society, and/or their profession, after attending NMSU. While not mandatory, contributions to the advancement of NMSU and service to the NMSU Alumni Association will be considered. Persons employed by NMSU or currently serving as a member of the NMSU Board of Regents, or persons active in positions relating to University operations, such as state legislators or government officials, are not eligible. Presented during the annual Homecoming festivities.
Brenda Joy Baca Alvarez (’81)
Brenda Alvarez was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After graduating from high school, prompted by her parents, she moved to Las Cruces to attend New Mexico State University.
In 1981, Brenda earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a major in managerial accounting from the College of Business at New Mexico State University.
Upon graduation, Brenda began work in the accounting department at Mutual Building and Loan. After four years, she left the company to dedicate time to raising her son and began part-time employment at Energy Optics. She worked there until she and her husband, Joe Alvarez, made the decision to start their business. With the assistance and support of Joe’s family, EMI Technologies became a reality.
Their business, EMI Technologies, began as a small company but has grown to a $22 million-a-year enterprise. EMI Technologies’ product focus is in the engineering fabrication and delivery of custom mobile instrumentation systems. EMI has the resources to engineer and fabricate instrumentation trailers, vans and other custom mobile instrumentally systems. Since its inception, EMI Technologies has been awarded numerous small business awards. In the years 1990, 1993, and 1994, EMI Technologies received the Award of Excellence from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and in 1994 and 2001 were awarded the Regional 6 Prime Contractor of the year award presented to the company in Washington D.C.
Brenda Alvarez is very active in the community. She currently serves on the Wells Fargo Advisory Board, Arrowhead Center Advisory Board, and Las Cruces Country Club Board and in the past has served on the NMSU Alumni Association Board and the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce Board.
Brenda says “We feel blessed for everything and try to give back to the community through supporting various charitable organizations”.
In 2003, Brenda and Joe Alvarez funded the Hispanic Business Student’s Association, allowing them to compete and attend a national conference where they were recognized as one of the best chapters in the country. Brenda and Joe have been long supporters of NMSU through the College of Business and College of Arts and Sciences. They have both contributed of their time, talent and treasure to help build excellence at NMSU.
Brenda is married to Joe Alvarez, a graduate of NMSU. Together, they have built a strong company and a family. Brenda and Joe have three children, Adam who earned both a Bachelors and Masters degree from the College of Business and is currently working in Washington D.C., Nicole who is currently a student in the College of Business, and Kaitlyn who started at NMSU this fall. Brenda comes from a long line of loyal Aggies; her three brothers are also graduates of New Mexico State University.