Each May, we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month to recognize the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.
AAPI Heritage Month provides an opportunity to highlight the amazing work of our colleagues, while also celebrating their culture and heritage – an important part of what makes them who they are.
Get to know Gabby Walter, Gas Distribution Engineer II, in the Q&A below.
What’s your role at SDG&E? What has your career journey been like so far?
Currently, I am an Engineer II with Gas System Planning and Distribution. I graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. I have had a fascinating journey as an intern and associate at SDG&E. From the start of my career, curiosity became an important value instilled in me by management and the stellar team of engineers I work with. They taught me that asking questions is the main driver in identifying solutions to complex problems within our gas system and it helps us identify potential safety hazards and take proactive steps to mitigate them. Overall, my career journey thus far has been one of continuous learning, growth, and professional development.
What do you love most about your job?
It is rewarding to work on a variety of projects that not only have real world applications, but allow a great balance of researching them in the office and exploring them out in the field. This includes the construction of new pipelines for new developments, repairing existing infrastructure, and installing gas meters. I also love learning about developing technologies that aid in decarbonization like hydrogen blending and cross compression!
I am grateful to have met so many kind people along the way with a wealth of knowledge to share about the gas distribution industry.
As we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, what are some aspects of your culture that you enjoy sharing with others?
Both sides of my family immigrated from Ilocos Norte in the early 1900s to work on the sugar plantations in Hawaii. So, I was born and raised in a small town called Kohala on the Big Island of Hawaii and love to celebrate my Filipino-American heritage and the Pacific Island culture I grew up in. It's hard to pick just one aspect of my culture that I enjoy!
My mom's love language is feeding people. And, luckily for me, she makes the best Filipino desserts! I love how food can bring about good memories with family and friends. I'm trying to learn how to perfect her fan favorite cascaron and banana lumpia so that I can share them with others.
Making and giving leis is an honored tradition in Hawaii that I also enjoy sharing with others. Leis are beautiful garlands of fresh flowers, vibrant leaves, unique shells, or even humble strands of ribbon! It is a beautiful representation of sharing one's aloha spirit or the spirit of love, kindness and hospitality. One of my favorite memories is of my high school graduation, where every single one of my classmates were adorned with leis from their necks to tops of their heads!
In your opinion, why do you think a focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace is important?
As I mentioned before, curiosity is a key component in problem-solving and staying safe. Along the same lines, focusing on diversity and inclusion encourages individuals to ask questions and learn about or understand different perspectives. When we welcome people’s unique experiences, lifestyles, and thoughts to the table we spark robust discussions and debates. These conversations build connections across these differences that help employees feel valued and engaged in the community that the company has built.
What are some of your hobbies? What are you passionate about?
My hobbies include working out and competing in tennis tournaments! My favorite place is the La Jolla Tennis Club because the drive along the oceanside feels like home.
As an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, I'm passionate about serving our country and caring for our veterans/service members. Seeing soldiers succeed and being a part of the camaraderie is unlike any other thing I've experienced.