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 HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (R), Rep. Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopSenate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks Republicans push back at first climate hearings Climate change on front burner after 8 years of GOP rule 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.”