john heitkemper media cabin

John Heitkemper
Founder/Park Ranger

A graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism, John has more than a decade of experience in public relations, advertising and grass-roots marketing. His forte is helping clients distinguish themselves in crowded marketplaces.

At the behest of Ray DeMarini, Founder of DeMarini Sports, John established Media Cabin in 1995. Leveraging DeMarini’s passion for the game, Heitkemper transformed DeMarini into the “King of Softball,” with coverage in People Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire, Men’s Journal, ESPN, CNBC, CNN and the FOX News Network. In five short years, John helped DeMarini Sports grow from $500,000 in annual sales to nearly $20 million, positioning the company for a friendly buyout from Wilson Sporting Goods. Wilson then hired Media Cabin to handle its advertising and public relations.

A professed early bird and night owl, John spends most of his time at the Cabin dreaming up ways to help his clients. When he’s not working, Heitkemper can be found playing with his two kids, watching the Oregon Ducks or enjoying the great outdoors.

Mike Benkoski
Account Manager

Mike is a California refugee, fleeing the Bay Area ‘burbs for Portland’s small urban vibe. A graduate of Willamette University, Mike took years off his life working in local television as a news producer before joining Media Cabin. When not working on his latest inventions (see “Foot-Pedal Toilet Seat Lid”), or dreaming about an “It’s just lunch” date with Gert Boyle, he enjoys playing volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, curling, Yahtzee and Risk.

Office nicknames: Gimp, Bento, Mike, and Flatley.

David O'Connor
Production/Operations Manager

After attending the Brooks Institute of Photography, David became a combat photographer for the U.S. Army where he served overseas and documented the Fall of the Berlin Wall. David was one of the first Americans to enter a liberated East Germany and had many near death experiences. While shooting a Special Forces assignment in Southern Germany, David’s helicopter nearly went down as water flooded the Huey's floor. He also hung from a wire and took pictures of rogue drug smugglers as a member of a counter-intelligence team in the South.

After the military, David worked as photojournalist for 16 years with stints at both United Press International and the Associated Press.  His awards include a William Randolph Hearst National Photojournalism Award, two first place College Photographer of the Year Awards and nine Wyoming Press Association Awards including Press Photographer of the Year in 2002. David has photographed nearly every big sporting event including  Super Bowls, Stanley Cup playoffs, All-Star games, and The Kentucky Derby.