Distinguished Alumnus: Joseph Semprevivo (’98)
Joseph Semprevivo has been an innovator since childhood. Joseph was diagnosed with diabetes at age nine, and at age 12 developed the first sugar-free ice cream in the world. To share it with other diabetics, he sold it in 197 stores in New Mexico.
At age 15, he asked his parents to develop a sugarfree cookie which he could enjoy. This was the first sugar-free cookie in America. Joseph’s Lite Cookies was born in 1986 in Deming, New Mexico, out of this need for a good tasting cookie that a young diabetic could enjoy and share.
This enterprise remains in Deming and is now at 125,000 retailers and in 35 countries with a plant of 52,000 square feet providing lifetime employment to team members.
At age 17, Joseph was presented the American Success Award by President George Bush in a White House ceremony.
Under CEO/President Semprevivo’s leadership, in 2004 alone, Joseph’s Lite Cookies received the New Mexico Governor’s VIVA (Vision, Investment, Vitality Action) award presented to the company Oct. 28, 2004, and the American Tasting Institute Award, Quality Hero Award, and the Superior Product Award.
In, 1997, Joseph received his bachelor’s degree in Marketing and in Management from New Mexico State University and he now provides full-ride scholarships each semester to two NMSU students.