ACCEPTING THE CHALLENGE
BOURGEOIS FACES EVERY CHALLENGE HEAD ON
When Houma native Shawn Bourgeois entered the workforce after graduating from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in marketing, she didn’t see herself as co-owner and quality manager for a highly successful oilfield-related rentals and manufacturing company.
But with her adaptability, willingness to learn and improve and positive can-do attitude, she can flourish in any environment—including the heavily male-dominated oil and gas industry.
Before Bourgeois joined her now husband Lyle’s company—B&B Rentals and Manufacturing—she worked her way up another local oilfield company, where she gained the necessary knowledge to run B&B.
The local business B&B Rentals and Manufacturing offers Gulf-compliance-standard equipment rentals, precision manufacturing and quality torquing for companies in the oilfield.
After starting off at B&B doing accounting, Bourgeois accepted the challenge of becoming quality manager as well.
“I really enjoyed the accounting side of the business the most, but when asked to step up and run the quality department, I took on the challenge,” said Bourgeois. “It is a totally different animal than accounting; the hardest thing to learn was that it is an ongoing challenge…It is about continually improving your processes and procedures, which is a good lesson in life: Never stop improving.”
Bourgeois said the people she gets to work with and the relationships she has built with those people and their families over the years are what she enjoys most about her job.
“I like the fact that I wear many hats and get to be involved in all aspects of the business,” she added.
Although she truly loves what she does, there are difficulties that come with the position—but she never shies away and positively faces them head-on.
“There are always challenges in running a company from front door to the back, but particularly when in the Quality Manager role, I usually have to deal with the negative issues that come up,” Bourgeois explained. “The Quality Manager is usually the one that people try to avoid. I try to keep a positive attitude and let employees know that complaints and non-conformances are opportunities for improving our service to the customers and improving our operations within.”
As far as being a woman in the oil and gas industry, Bourgeois feels it has never set her back.
“Women thrive in some qualities that men can lack and vice versa, so I believe we all complement each other…” she expressed. “I really do believe that the only thing holding a woman back is herself. Look at all the successful women in this world today.”
“The challenge is not being a woman I think, the challenge is the ever changing regulations and standards in the industry,” she added.
With Bourgeois’ attention to detail and industry regulations while being quality manager–as well as still doing some accounting for the company—she has helped B&B grow and prosper into the successful business it is today. The company recently opened facilities in Midland, Texas.
“It gives us a chance to offer solutions to the energy market in the Permian Basin as well as the Gulf and show the growing companies out there what B&B can do for them,” Bourgeois said on the new location. “It is a challenging as well as a fun experience that we look forward to.”
Bourgeois said she sees more growth for B&B in the future. She noted that her fellow partners constantly come up with solutions that challenge her in the quality field. She doesn’t mind, as she is eager to learn the latest innovations in the industry and to be of service to the people of her company.
When asked if she had any advice to give to other women Bourgeois said, “Keep putting your heads in doors and asking if you can help with anything. Keep learning and assisting others, and opportunities will always open up
for you.” •
BY DREW MILLER