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NMSU alumnus to be featured on CNN this month

New Mexico State University alumnus Joseph Semprevivo will be featured on the segment "Tips from the Top" during CNN Live Saturday, May 28.

Joseph Semprevivo, a New Mexico State University alumnus, will be featured on "Tips from the Top," a segment that will be presented during CNN Live, May 28. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

ng to CNN producer Jennifer Grubb, the segment is scheduled to air locally between noon and 1 p.m.

The show will feature prosperous entrepreneurs offering advice on how they became successful, Grubb said.

"I loved that (Joseph Semprevivo) took a negative and turned it around and made it a positive," Grubb said. "It's a great entrepreneurial success story. I loved his enthusiasm for his product."

And what is his product? Cookies. But they are not just cookies; they are sugar-free treats available in a variety of flavors. They are also salt-free, reduced carbohydrate and reduced fat, and Weight Watchers approved, Semprevivo said.

The Deming native, who can often be seen on the QVC television shopping channel, is president and chief executive officer of Joseph's Lite Cookies, a company he and his parents, Jo Marie and Larry Semprevivo, founded in 1986.

Semprevivo said he was filmed in Atlanta inside a Kroger store while customers, who were not part of the program, were checking out with his cookies.

"I was completely elated," he said.

With the No.1 selling sugar-free cookie in the country, Joseph's Lite Cookies are in more than 100,000 stores in the United States and 37 nations.

The company produces 13 flavors of sugar-free cookies, sugar-free brownies and cakes, three flavors of fat-free cookies and a sugar-free maple syrup as well as sugar-free peanut butter, chocolate chips and a sweetener that's available only through Joseph's Lite Cookies.

The company has a manufacturing plant in Deming, N.M., and administrative offices in Sebastian, Fla.

The story behind the cookie began when Semprevivo was a pre-teen and working at his parent's ice cream shop. Scooping up ice cream might have been a dream job for most young people, but it was a challenge for Semprevivo, a diabetic.

At 12, Semprevivo decided to make sugar-free ice cream "for all diabetics and health-conscious consumers" to enjoy.

That sweet success led Semprevivo to create many other sugar-free treats.

Semprevivo graduated from NMSU in 1997 with a business administration degree. He returns to his alma mater periodically as a member of the NMSU Business Advisory Council, which helps the College of Business develop its programs and objectives.