Nooshin Behroyan

Founder and CEO, Paxon Energy & Infrastructures, California

Drawn to the energy industry and fascinated by the prospect of using her “engineering hat,” Nooshin Behroyan has endured the challenges and triumphs of founding an energy business. The promise of bettering the industry motivated her to push through hard times, ultimately creating a company focused on giving back to the community.

Why did you enter the oil and gas industry?

“When I got my master’s in civil and environmental engineering from UC Davis, I interviewed for a consulting job to work on Pacific Gas & Electric’s, then San Bruno, exploded natural gas pipeline incident. I was just so fascinated by the industry and was so eager to put on my engineering hat to see how I could be part of the solution for the industry as a whole.”

Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?

“Perhaps one of my most memorable professional achievements has been seeing Paxon being named the No. 9 fastest-growing private company in America, which is by far one of the most prestigious rankings in the country, and being able to reach upward of 17,000% growth for two years in a row. This growth is truly a testament of our expertise and passion for the industry, as well as the level of services and innovative approaches that we can provide to our clients, of whom 90% are referred/returned clients.”

What has been your most challenging project to date? How did you accomplish your goal?

“One of the most challenging experiences as a CEO has been being very closely involved in the Butte County, Calif., fire, which became one of the deadliest wildfires in history. We had upward of 30-plus field employees conducting field inspections on gas pipelines, and the hardest part of the experience was keeping our employees’ morale high after having to witness so much loss.”

What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry?

“I feel like the industry is finally at an exciting turn with all the net-zero commitments and initiatives to be carbon-neutral. This keeps me extremely excited to be part of this movement, which is somewhat similar to the dot-com era where the entire industry is willing to make changes. Paxon is proud to be at the forefront of these initiatives by bringing state-of-the-art technologies for decarbonization or other climate initiatives.”

How have you exercised leadership to help shape your company?

“As the CEO of Paxon, I have learned to treat leadership as a core strength. In my role, you are often forced to make a lot of decisions and also some of the most difficult decisions within the company. I try to approach my leadership with empathy combined with a lot of logic, and always the bottom line for me has been doing right by the people. I think that’s incredibly important.”

What advice would you give other young professionals in the industry?

“If you feel bored or not challenged enough in your role, that’s the indicator that it’s time for a change. You have to be willing to make the effort and be ready to work hard—and sometimes really hard—for the change you wish to see.”

Three More Things
  1. I have a huge sweet tooth and to this day still consume more chocolate than I should. Something that many may not know is that Paxon is named after my favorite chocolate that I grew up eating in Iran.
  2. During my last year at my graduate program at UC Davis, I was nine months pregnant with my daughter … and realized that I may not be able to come back to school after her birth, given that I lived over an hour away from the school and also had a 2-year-old at home. As a result, I decided to challenge the remaining courses and graduate out of the program. 
  3. I serve as the board president for National Association of Women Business Owners San Francisco Bay Area, supporting other women business owners and their successes and growth.