Our team sat down with Michael Wascom, Strategic Partner and owner of a well-loved Scottish Terrier. Michael brings decades of strategic communication and public affairs expertise to the Strategic Elements team. You can read our conversation below.
What decision gave you the most success in your career?
My decision to load as much as possible into my car in October 1989 and drive from Louisiana to Washington, DC, in search of any job that could eventually set me on a path in the government and political arena.
What is your most prized possession?
As a huge dog lover, and longtime supporter of various animal welfare organizations, my 11-month-old Scottish Terrier puppy, Maggie. Although she is not really a “possession,” she is part of the family. It was tough losing her predecessor, Thatcher, after nearly 14 years in April 2021, but Maggie is full of the love, companionship, and energy that only a dog, especially a Scottie, can provide.
Do you have a “pump up” song? If so, what is it?
The pregame fight song as performed by the Golden Band from Tigerland prior to my beloved Fightin’ Tigers of LSU taking the field in Tiger Stadium.
Who is your hero?
I have two: a heroine and a hero both for the same reason–Rosa Parks and John Lewis for peacefully sitting down so others could eventually stand up and be treated with the dignity and respect they deserved as equals alongside every other American.
What is your advice to young people who are interested in working in government affairs?
Set long-term goals of where you want to be in 10, 15 and 20 years then get the initial necessary experience from Capitol Hill and work your way toward that goal by staying focused and undeterred in your pursuits by utilizing all available paths to get there—in my case, from Capitol Hill to two trade associations, to a major non-profit, to a presidential administration, to a major corporation. Each of those steps built upon the previous experience and can be traced back to the initial goal I set for myself when I arrived in Washington.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
After a long (and sometimes winding, yet fulfilling) career path spanning nearly 18 years, I finally reached the goal set when I arrived in Washington, DC: to eventually join the government relations office of a major airline, American Airlines.
Tell us about a memorable moment from your career.
Too many to count during my years at American Airlines, but my work with our veterans and wounded warriors across many generations tops the list. These men and women met the call of duty, brought honor to themselves and our great country, and defended freedom at all costs. My gratitude to them is unwavering, but still insufficient for the sacrifices they made and the wounds of war they suffered.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
To be able to go back and forth in time– living life as it existed before I was born then fast forward into the future to experience what lies ahead.