Remembering Wilhelm Hesse

July 29, 1987 - February 23, 2024

Working at a small company like ours, we become part of our team’s unfolding stories. We get to understand the quests that brought us together. And, as we witness each other’s evolving personal and professional journeys, we almost feel like we are walking our paths side by side.

Wilhelm has a story that we will never forget.

Originally from Ghana, he started out in IT. But, his production dreams brought him to Hollywood film sets. Then, seven years ago, he enrolled at American University to continue his development in a Masters film program. It was there he met one of our staffers.

When Wilhelm heard we needed a temp production assistant at our office, he jumped at the opportunity. His skills were evident. And we all agreed we’d be lucky to have his wonderful personality and coolness on our team. So, not long after he started, we were offering him a full-time position.

Soon, Wilhelm was writing scripts, overseeing graphic development editing and producing anything from lively conference promos to heart-tugging pieces about personal callings. He also thrived on the video set. He not only directed crews, he deftly operated the camera as well. He did all of this while earning client accolades and award recognition.

Wilhelm also saw a chance to hone his live event skills. He eagerly traveled with O’Keefe productions and worked behind-the-curtain with top leadership from companies and associations, and with distinguished talent.

During his time at O’Keefe, we got to enjoy Wilhelm’s personal adventure. He married his beautiful fiance, Phoebe, in 2020. A year and half ago, they welcomed their adorable son, Wilhelm, Jr. And they bought their first house less than a year ago. Wilhelm was enjoying perhaps the best, most rewarding chapter of his life.

So, when Wilhelm was dealt a heartbreaking cancer diagnosis in late 2023, he fought fiercely and courageously. Unfortunately, for all who knew and loved Wilhelm, he was taken away far too unfairly, far too soon.

We are ensuring that Wilhelm’s story continues. Not only will his humor and spirit live on at O’Keefe, his commitment to his family will continue to endure.

In Wilhelm’s name, we have started a GoFundMe page. All funds will go directly to Phoebe and Wilhelm, Jr. to help support them during this incredibly difficult time, and into their challenging future. We encourage all who knew Wilhelm, and all members of the film, video and live event community, to consider a donation in Wilhelm’s honor.