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Mike Deaver, Live Strategies Group

From behind the bucking chutes of the Salt Lake City Day’s of 47 Rodeo, avoiding being in the middle of the scrum at a Utah Warriors Rugby Match to a guest the 2018 Christmas reception at the White House are just a few of the places marketing, management, production and branding specialist, Mike Deaver, one of the principals of has found himself in as a long list of events.

Join Clark H. Caras as he visits with Deaver about past adventures, a love for what he does and his success at doing it. – Obvious question has to be what was being in the White House with the President and First Lady this year for one of the Christmas receptions?

Deaver – What can I say? It’s the White House at Christmas. And no matter who it is at the time you’re there. It’s the President of the United States and the First Lady who are there as the hosts! It’s definitely a bucket list-plus moment in your life. – Share a bit more about your experience there that so many others might never get in their life. What were highlights for you and your brother who accompanied you?

Deaver – The Slovenian red Christmas trees that were such an item of derision for the First Lady. They were regal when you were in that hall with them! They were beautiful; as were her other choices of decoration thru the White House.

When President Trump and the First Lady, Melania, joined us he pointed out it wouldn’t have mattered what she’d done, or worn, or said – she’d be criticized. He made sure we knew he loved what she’d done and how she decorated. – Okay, there’s got to be more to the visit?

Deaver – So, I’ve obviously because of my work attended a few receptions in my day. And the food has ranged from tacos to unlimited appetizers. The food at the White House… nothing to compare it to. Nothing! – Okay Mike. Admit it. Besides going away with some mints in your pockets, what else did you “borrow” from the People’s House?

Deaver – Nothing. I swear it, nothing! There were some napkins with gold on them and the seal and I saw a few maybe slipped them into pockets, but I think staff saw it too and kind of expected it. At least they seemed to.

The most amazing place for me was the library just off the reception hall. It was four walls from floor to ceiling of books . Hundreds if not thousands of them! And any title you might think of old and knew. Most though from classic American authors. It was unique though they thought ahead because they’d placed the library between the reception hall and the men’s room. And no, I didn’t bring any books home or take them into the bathroom – I’m no George Constanza. – Speaking of books. What book, or books, would we find on your nightstand at home?

Deaver – Right now I’m reading “High Performance Habits” by Brendon Burchard. I obviously find myself drawn to business books. Maybe my favorite has been “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. – We just got finished talking about some fine foods, but this is kind of a standard we ask everyone. Are you a hamburger or cheeseburger kinda guy?

Deaver – Oh I’m definitely a cheeseburger man. It’s not a burger without cheese on it. Without cheese it’s a waste. – Pickles or no pickles?

Deaver – The more pickles the better! Yeah, I’ve gotta have them pickles with it. – You’ve got a bit of an accent to your speech that gives a hint of somewhere a southern boy?

Deaver – You caught me there. I spent 30 years growing up in North Carolina – some might say grownup isn’t quite the right word. I love the people and the food that is there. The scenery – the beaches, the mountains.

Utah is nice though, where I’ve been for 20 years. It has something very much like a southern hospitality, only at a different level. – How big is this family in Carolina and Utah you are part of?

Deaver – Four boys and one sister. After I graduated from Brigham Young University I went back to North Carolina. I really thought I would stay in the south, but then I had a chance to head back to Utah and work for BYU Sports Information. And now 20 years later I’m still here. – So besides your credits listed at the beginning of the interview others include the Utah Sports Commission, Orem Owlz Baseball, Utah Governor’s Office of Special Initiatives, Utah Warriors Rugby. How’d you get into all of this Mike and create your company?

Deaver – I’d spent time in front of the camera and done video and digital but then had a chance to create something with Jason Badell, my best friend and former BYU buddy and roommate. As a kid I used to watch the Oscars, Miss America, the Super Bowl, New Years Eve and anything Dick Clark; and I was captivated by the fact that there was someone behind the scenes who had to pull all of this together.

I would sit and watch the credits, to read who it was whom put all of what I’d just watched together. And I’ve never really admitted this to anyone, but there was a point where I realized I want to be the guy who does this – the one who produces it! – So you have a mix of politics, sports, and events you work on and put together. Are the three similar or have any things you end up seeing that are the same?

Deaver – The working principals behind all three are the same. There is the arena or stage for all three. Then you have a personality, the star, players or politician. In a sense you are working to get people to show up, buy tickets, watch or participate.. even to market getting them to vote – voting though being the most important thing you can do. There are theatrics to it all.

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