Man unwittingly attends Obama roundtable

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An employee of a Utah-based solar power company unwittingly attended a small roundtable discussion with President Obama.

Marvin Lance Futch, who works for Lehi, Utah-based Vivint Solar Inc., volunteered last week to attend an event that Vivint believed would be a news conference during which Futch would sit in the audience, he told The Associated Press.


Instead, Futch ended up wearing a white polo shirt to a small meeting with Obama, Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchNY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate MORE (R), Rep. Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopOvernight Energy: McConnell tees up vote on Green New Deal | Centrist Dems pitch alternative to plan | House Republican likens Green New Deal to genocide | Coca-Cola reveals it uses 3M tons of plastic every year House GOP lawmaker says Green New Deal is like genocide Overnight Energy: Solar installations dropped in 2018 | UN report says rising Arctic temperatures 'locked in' | Fiat Chrysler to recall 850K vehicles MORE (R) and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker (D), among others.

Futch, a solar cell designer, went to the event because the White House had asked Vivint to send someone with military experience. He serves in the Utah Air National Guard, and the event took place at Hill Air Force Base.

“If I had known it was my commander in chief, I definitely would have been wearing my blues,” Futch told AP, referring to the Air National Guard’s dress uniform.

Obama headed to Utah to roll out a program to train military veterans and outgoing service members to work in the solar power industry, including through sales and installation of solar panels.

Obama asked Futch at the meeting about what Vivint does and how solar jobs could benefit veterans. Futch told AP that he said the industry is growing and can provide a stable career after military service.

A Reddit user who said he is Futch’s co-worker first reported Futch’s involvement Wednesday. The user said Vivint officials probably would not have sent Futch if they knew the nature of the event.

But Vivint has nonetheless highlighted Futch’s work. The company tweeted a photo of the meeting, writing that Futch was “repping the everyday solar guy … like a boss.”