Founder & CEO
Mary-Frances Hurt began her career in the restaurant industry, where she designed banquet management programs and marketing plans for major brands including CiCi’s Pizza, Pappas Restaurants, and Brinker International. With years of experience in developing event guidelines for these and other companies under her belt, transitioning into the event planning industry was a natural next step. Since founding DFW Events in 1997, Mary-Frances’ reputation for ahead-of-the-curve creative excellence has grown her small business into the premier planning company it is today—one that has produced more than 1,500 events both nationally and internationally.
Mary-Frances’ passion for mentoring, connecting like-minded individuals, and building authentic relationships is the driving force behind each of her business ventures, from planning five-star fêtes to creating destination development programs. She also serves as the Vice-President of Perch Event Decor. Her work has appeared in national publications including Inside Weddings and Us Weekly magazine. Outside the office, she enjoys being with her three children, traveling, fishing, and yoga.
Meet the Team
After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2013, Abby Simoneau moved to Dallas and accepted a position as the personal assistant to DFW Events Founder and CEO Mary-Frances Hurt. It didn’t take long for her to transition into an event production role, and today she is a lead planner for DFW Events—a position that is a perfect fit for her outgoing personality and love of organization. “No two days are the same at the office,” says Abby. “From scheduling meetings, to booking travel, to putting together a welcome gift and bringing the final event to life, I love every facet of the planning process.” In her downtime, you’ll likely find Abby spending time with friends and her twin sister, Tayler, enjoying the outdoors, or taking her golden retriever to the dog park.
VIEW FROM THE TOP: “My life was forever changed when Abby started working for me,” says Mary-Frances. “She creates a cheerful, peaceful environment everywhere she goes, and is a dynamic leader and event planner.”
Social Media and Marketing Coordinator
Karley Kiker graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Creative Writing, and she’s been producing voice-driven content for web and print ever since. After spending time on the Hollywood scene conducting the occasional red carpet interview for Us Weekly magazine, she returned to her roots in Dallas and became a staff writer and society columnist at D Magazine Partners. “After I got engaged, I wrote a column for D Weddings magazine. What began as a short term assignment turned into a career-defining love affair with weddings and events,” says Karley, who is the author of wedding planning book How to Plan Your Wedding in Six Months or Less. When she isn’t blogging, tweeting, or styling an Instagram post for DFW Events, you’ll likely find Karley painting or traveling with her husband.
VIEW FROM THE TOP: “In searching for a creative talent to be the bridge between DFW Events and the social media and print world, Karley’s enthusiasm and talents impressed us, and we felt that she would be the perfect addition to our team,” says Mary-Frances. “Her impact on our national presence has been immeasurable.”