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Stories of Leadership: Beth Bowman

Beth Bowman has had a successful career in the engineering field since graduating from SDSU in 1981.

Beth Bowman  received a master's degree in engineering-design-technology from San Diego State University in 1981. She serves as senior vice president of west region at Shell Energy North America. She is responsible for managing and marketing activities in the Western United States and Mexico, including regional offices in San Diego, Portland and Spokane.

Prior to joining Shell in 1999, Bowman held positions in engineering, fuels and power supply, financial services, regulatory affairs, strategic planning, budgeting and power and gas trading at Sempra Energy.

Beth Bowman headshot
Beth Bowman

Tell us the highlights of your professional career.  What are your proudest achievements?

After spending twenty years with Sempra, and now 14 years with Shell, I am most proud seeing people grow and develop as they progress in their careers.  I’ve truly enjoyed all facets of the business world, including developing strategy and growing businesses. It has been interesting to work with regulations, negotiate contracts, and close transactions.

What’s your favorite college memory?

Because I was working on my master’s at SDSU while I worked, all of my classes were at night and the class sizes were small.  My favorite memories are of the people I met. The one memory that really stands out is when I was in a Dynamics of Soils class.  It had about 10 students and was an extremely technical and difficult subject.  I still remember how difficult it was for me, yet sitting next to me in class was a student [who] was using a Chinese to English dictionary throughout the whole class!

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Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

I learned the most from Dr. Noorani in the mechanics of soils class.

If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

I’d tell them to enjoy your college years.  Work hard, but play hard too.

What are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?

I’m currently reading "The Light Between Oceans" by Stedman for my book club.

I enjoy historical biographies and really enjoyed the books by David McCullough.  My favorite was Truman.

What is your passion?

My passion is my children.  I have three, and all have finished college and are starting out on their own. It is a joy to watch them grow and turn into wonderful adults.

What is your motto?

Have fun!  Remember that even in the work you do, it is important to have fun.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

I do love to travel.  Beyond that I would donate to charities that help people help themselves, those that give a hand up instead of a handout.

Which trait do you value most in your friends and colleagues?


I can’t really narrow it down to one, but I do value honesty and humbleness.

If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt?

I am not sure that I would do anything differently. Life is good. At this point in my life, I would travel more and relax more!

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