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Achievers: Friends of the Mansion adds to board of directors

The Friends of the Mansion group has announced the addition of Samonia Byford to its board of directors.

Friends of the Mansion is a nonprofit organization that strives to preserve and promote the Oklahoma Governor’s Mansion.

Byford has been a part of numerous other boards and organizations during her career, such as the Oklahoma Historical Society, Friends of the Oklahoma History and the Capital Medical Zoning Commission. She also has a variety of volunteer experience in her repertoire of involvement, such as Junior League of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Academy of State Goals and the Oklahoma Institute of Child Advocacy.

Byford is joining Friends of the Mansion as one of 21 board members under the leadership of first lady Sarah Stitt and Friends of the Mansion President James Pickel. Additionally, Friends of the Mansion has an advisory board that consists of former Oklahoma First Ladies, First Gentlemen and other community-leading members who help direct the mission of Friends of the Mansion.

The 2021 Board of Directors include first lady Sarah Stitt, chair; Pickel, Oklahoma City, president; Jim Hasenbeck, Oklahoma City, vice president; Jill Shero, Oklahoma City, secretary; and Ann Ackerman, Oklahoma City, treasurer. Also, Byford, Estela Hernandez, Jeri Holmes, Carrie Leonard, Lesli Massad, Jill Shero, Marnie Taylor and Nazette Zuhdi, all of Oklahoma City; W.A. DeVore and Cassie Reese Tipton, both of Tulsa; Rachel Mathews, Edmond; Sherry McKown, Norman; Jeff Moen, Ardmore; Barby Myers, Owasso; Ronnye Sharp, Tecumseh; and Mary Vernon, Altus.

To learn more about Friends of the Mansion or to make a donation to its mission, go to

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