Monica Murrell and Desirée Hopper

Ask anyone in a healthy long-term partnership or marriage and they’ll tell you: the secret to success is a having that special blend of like-minded thinking and different (yet complementary) skills and traits. You have to share the same values, integrity and vision for the future, and you need to be able to pick up where the other leaves off.

For Monica Murrell and Desirée Hopper, this unique chemistry was immediately evident when they met at a third-party management company more than a decade ago. Monica was in operations and Desirée in sales, and when they partnered together, their shared appreciation for the importance of extreme attention to detail, exceptional customer service, detailed planning and uniquely memorable experiences made clients take notice.

Monica and Desirée founded planning MODE in 2009 and have led it to become one of Dallas’s most trusted and sought after event management companies for planning and executing corporate conferences, events and incentive travel programs.

And as they’ve grown their team and their roster of clients over the years, they’ve retained their seamless compatibility of shared vision and complementary skills. Which is pretty important when you’ve got that compatibility baked right into your company’s name:
MO (Monica) and DE (Desirée).


Fun Facts About Monica

  • Loves to cook, especially her homemade spaghetti and meatballs that her husband claims was a big reason that he fell in love with her.
  • Reads an average of about 50 books per year, all accomplished while drying her hair.
  • Passionate about The University of Texas, from attending all of the home football games to fundraising for scholarships.
  • Along with the dog Abby, she lives in a house full of boys: Jackson and Hayes (the little kids), and her husband David (the big kid).

Fun Facts About Desirée

  • Completed four marathons (New York, San Diego, Orlando and Dallas), but these days she tries her best to get on her Peloton bike or practice yoga.
  • Loves the music of Ryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen and Josh Rouse almost equally. Knows the words to every light rock hit from the 70s and 80s.
  • On Sunday nights, after trying out a new recipe with her husband and putting the kids to bed, you’ll find her on the couch with a glass of red wine, ready to watch her favorite Netflix/Showtime originals, aka her “programs.”
  • Lives in a house equally divided—three girls (Desirée, daughter Savannah and Rosie the dog) and three boys (husband Travis, son Briggs and Ocho the cat).