SF State alumni: Where are they now?

Kimmy Williams
Kimmy Williams
Kimmy Williams
Kimmy Williams

Class of 2012

B.A. in humanities with a minor in Italian

Williams, born and raised in San Francisco, chose to attend SF State because of its consistent celebration of diversity.

Since graduating, Williams went the entrepreneurial route and started skincare center, Acqua e Sapone Aesthetics, which she owns in downtown San Francisco. The center is just two months old, and Williams is learning as she goes.

“I chose this work because I wanted to connect with people whose confidence may be suffering due to a skin condition and help them build their self-esteem and self-image,” Williams said.

This center specializes in treating problematic skin conditions like acne through holistic coaching and clinical facials.

“The name Acqua e Sapone literally means ‘water and soap’ in Italian but ‘bella acqua e sapone’ is an expression that means water and soap beautiful. This concept of just washing your face with soap and water and feeling beautiful without having to cover up who you are is a message that is lacking in the beauty industry and something I wanted to spread through my work,” Williams said.

Williams wants to encourage college students and anyone trying to find their path in life to follow their passion.

“There are a lot of sweat and tears that go into building a career and opening a business and the thing that will keep you moving forward is the joy of doing that thing every day that you would be doing whether you got paid or not,” Williams said.


Julian Mocine-McQueen
Julian Mocine-McQueen

Class of 2008

B.A in history

Mocine-McQueen graduated SF State in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history and has since become the director of education and outreach for Green For All, an organization that provides sustainable jobs for low income workers.

“The success I’ve had today stems directly from the organizing I did at SF state,” Mocine-McQueen said. “I’d just encourage students to experiment with what you are passionate about, and find places to put in work. It might not always be paid, but it will pay off in the end.”

While at SF State, Mocine-McQueen started a club called the League of Young Voters, which educated students about elections and got students to vote.

After graduating, Mocine-McQueen worked for Green For All as a temporary worker and has since been promoted to Director of Education and Outreach.

Mocine-McQueen also toured with rappers Wiz Khalifa and Drake in 2010 and 2011 working as an environmental educator.

Mocine-McQueen recently started a collaborative project called the Million Person Project, which works with change makers around the world to uncover and communicate their personal story exploring why they do the work they do.

“I’m very lucky, because I get to communicate with and support incredible community-level leaders every single day,” McQueen said. “In addition to this, I work to develop useful tools and resources for everyday folks to take action around climate change and to develop the green economy.”


Chris Wong
Chris Wong

Class of 2003

B.S. in business

Wong, born and raised in San Francisco, chose to stay local when he selected SF State. Wong continued his education at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and graduated in 2005.

Since graduating, he has gone to open two restaurants including the newly opened Blueprint Tap Room.

“My father and grandmother were both excellent cooks and taught me a lot. Since a young age I was helping and learning in the kitchen,” Wong said. “It wasn’t until a trip to Europe and time spent on a farm in Italy that I really understood food and its importance. It’s been a wild and entertaining ride to say the least.”

Wong, also partner and chef at Social Kitchen & Brewery, decided to venture in a new restaurant because of the challenge.

“Blueprint is an ode to a new type of gastropub. Modern, casual, fun but serious about craft beer, local wine, and creative, delicious food,” Wong said.

He emphasizes having a business that has strong comradeship.

“We are all family and friends and have a common goal. Blueprint derives from being in the heart of the design district. A blueprint is a starting point. A design. A vision. Leaving room to grow and become something amazing,” Wong said.


Yvonne Lembi-Detert
Yvonne Lembi-Detert

Class of 1982

B.S. in home economics (now hospitality and tourism management)

After Yvonne Lembi-Detert graduated from SF State in 1982 with a degree in home economics, she created San Francisco’s first boutique hotel at age 22.

Since graduating Lembi-Detert has also won several awards, created San Francisco’s first Walk of Fame sidewalk, appeared on Good Morning America and started Personality Hotels, a company which aims to provide a home away from home and hires SF State graduates. She is also involved in several charities.

“My amazing father inspired me to be the best and embrace opportunities and this has led me to continually expand business while taking care of guests and having some fun,” Lembi-Detert said.

As a woman and CEO, Lembi-Detert had to overcome many challenges from a male-dominated industry, she said. Lembi-Detert followed the ABC rule: Aim high, Be brave and Critique yourself, she said.

Today she continues to expand her business, renovate hotels and searches for opportunity to even create hotels from scratch.