2022 Top 20 Impact Makers Honorees
2022 Top 20 Inspiring Man Impact Maker Award
Saturday, May 28, 2022
The St. Regis Houston
Astley Blair has dedicated his life to solving problems, both as an occupation and as a concerned member of the community.
Astley is CFO of Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC), an independent company with its headquarters in Houston. The not-for-profit company provides well containment equipment and technology in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico. As a leader in deepwater well containment and a technology provider in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the company's mission is to be continuously ready to respond to a deepwater well control incident in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. MWCC is committed to advancing its capabilities to keep pace with its members' needs. Membership in MWCC is open to all oil and gas operators in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. In his capacity as CFO, Astley is responsible for the company’s finance, information technology, contracting, and business services.
In July 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, and Shell committed to providing a new oil well containment response capability. These founding companies recognized the need to be better prepared in the event an operator lost complete control and subsequent containment of a well. As a result, they asked Astley to set up a company, later to be known as MWCC, to facilitate that. It became active in February 2011. MWCC now has over $2 billion in assets available for use in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico should the need ever arise again.
Astley is a native of Jamaica. He began his career as a junior accountant with Friends & Company Chartered Accountants where he completed 2000 hours of work experience covering the principles of finance and accounting. While there, he also completed the Association of Accounting Technicians curriculum as part of a work program.
In 1981, he began working as an accountant specializing in value-added tax with Texaco Ltd. Since then, he has held various positions in marine shipping, marketing, manufacturing, planning, and corporate reporting. Astley began working at Texaco's corporate headquarters in New York in 1996. There, he worked in a variety of corporate roles and was part of the Executive Business Development Program, before being named Manager, Accounting & Trading Controls in August of 1998 for Texaco Oil Trading & Transport.
After Chevron and Texaco merged, Astley was named General Manager, Finance for Global Trading and was later appointed Vice President & General Manager of Finance & Business Services based in Houston. He was named Division Finance Officer in January 2004 for the newly formed Global Supply & Trading organization until his recent assignment as Chief Financial Officer of MWCC. He retired from Chevron at the end of 2019 after 38 years of service, but maintains his role at MWCC.
In 2009, he achieved Zero is Attainable with 1,000,000 hours worked without injury for Global Supply & Trading, Finance & Business Services.
As a Chevron representative, Astley engaged in many community efforts, including working with the Houston Food Bank, United Way, and STEM (middle and high school students). The goal of the latter is to improve education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.
As an active member of the community, Astley sits on the Executive Board of Directors of Houston Grand Opera. He also serves as the board’s chairman of the audit committee. As well, Astley is chairman of the Center for Houston’s Future, a board member of the Greater Houston Partnership, and a board member of the Houston Airport System Development Corporation. He is also a supporter of the work carried out by the Parish School and The Carruth Center, which specialize in educating children ages two to twelve who have communication delays and learning differences.
Astley maintains his British heritage, but was proud to become an American citizen in 2019. An avid sports fan, he is an enthusiastic supporter of the English Premier League and Formula 1 racing.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Astley Blair has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Man Impact Maker for 2022.