Interview: How to go from Celebrity Chef to Event Planner with Sean O’Keefe
Sean O’Keefe makes magic happen with Sean O’Keefe Events, an Atlanta based company that drives fundraising for local nonprofits. We delve into his life as a chef in Hollywood and why he’s so passionate about helping organizations through his events.
Below is a summary of our interview:
“The most important thing to do in the world is to walk the talk.”
Born in Canada, Sean spent his childhood hanging out with his grandfather who was a seasoned fisherman and taught Sean how to cook, how to could provide for their family. He opened a company called House Husband. One of the client’s sister was from Beverly Hills, which he was invited to do a series of cook tests in Beverly Hills and San Diego, flew back to Toronto, and got offered a job in Beverly Hills as a private chef for a talent manager. Sean took his grandfather’s skill set and made a career out of it in Toronto which opened the door for this opportunity. He believed he was a Chef in Beverly Hills, and walked the talk. Once he located to the suburbs of Atlanta, he had to ask himself “what do I do?” He realized he’d been an event planner for 17 years. However, no one had a personal connection with him or his mission in Atlanta, so Sean said “i’m just gonna do nothing but good” and started with an early childhood education program in Georgia that looks after 160 kids a year. He learned what entrepreneurialism is and he sees himself in, 5 years from now, the best possible outcome.
A Low Point
At one point, coming to terms with himself and being true to who he was, Paul came out a young gay man to his family. He had to hit something to understand who he really was.
Sean had allowed his career to morph. He is continuing to leverage the ability and the profile of his company with his nonprofit partners.
Sean’s work now
He’s the owner of Sean O’Keefe Events, and with his company, he makes magic happen on a daily basis for the Atlanta nonprofit community. Over the last 4 years, he’s raised $4.5 million dollars for nonprofit partners and they are the logical choice for event building.
What’s exciting Sean now
In the upcoming fall, he is doing a series of fundraising events at a polo field in Atlanta. The city is high rises and cranes, and it’s an international event so it’s drawing people to come. So Sean is doing everything from ‘Pretty Woman’ polo brunches to a hip-hop tea dance and you stomp the divots.
Books Sean Recommends:[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”1118443691″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41JOvn2woBL._SL160_.jpg” tag=”purposerockst-20″ width=”104″] [easyazon_block add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”B007CLYTMA” cloaking=”default” layout=”top” localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” tag=”purposerockst-20″]
Leonard Granger…his first employer who gave Sean the belief that he can be something.
What’s Your Purpose?
Sean’s purpose is to leave the world a little bit better than when he entered it.
Where to follow Sean
The fundamental truth that lies beneath all the issues in entrepreneurialism is a belief in oneself and that the person you are is fantastic.