Sarah Huckabee Sanders (file) Brian Chilson

We had the early scoop on Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ inauguration plans and what it’ll cost you to attend: For instance, for a $100,000 contribution to the inaugural committee, you get you four reserved seats for prayer and worship at Fellowship Bible Church the morning of Jan. 10.

But here’s the official lowdown. Jacqueline and Michael Retzer of Little Rock are co-chairs. She’s a former wedding and event planner and he owns a ton of McDonald’s with his father, Michael Retzer Sr., a former ambassador to Tanzania and former Mississippi Republican Party chairman.


LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—Governor-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders today announced that local philanthropists and business owners Jacqueline and Michael Retzer will co-chair her upcoming inauguration. The multi-day event, which Sanders has themed A New Generation, will take place in Little Rock from January 7th to the 10th, culminating with Sanders taking the oath of office and hosting an inaugural ball. The Governor-elect has also selected Cathy Lanier and Megan Turner to serve as inaugural coordinators.

“When I take office in January, I will be the first woman to lead our state and our nation’s youngest governor, ushering in a new generation of leadership,” said Sanders. “I want to thank Jacqueline and Michael Retzer—two individuals who impact so many lives across our state through their business, philanthropic efforts, community leadership, and volunteerism, and share my vision for implementing bold conservative reforms to unleash our state’s full potential—for agreeing to co-chair this historic event. I also want to thank two longtime friends who both played critical roles in my successful campaign—Cathy Lanier and Megan Turner—for taking on the task of ensuring a successful multi-day celebration.”

“Arkansas made history on election night, and in January our state will make history again when Sarah Huckabee Sanders is sworn in as the 47th governor. She is not only a close friend, but we know without a doubt there is no one more capable of leading our state into the future. We are incredibly honored to serve as chairs of her inaugural events as we celebrate Sarah as our new governor,” said Jacqueline and Michael.

The occasion will commence on Saturday, January 7 with Freedom Fest in the afternoon followed by Bourbon & Cigars with the First Gentleman that evening. Tuesday, January 10 will begin with a Prayer & Worship Service before the state’s new First Family proceeds to the Capitol where the Governor-elect will take the oath of office and deliver her inaugural address. The celebration and day will conclude with the Governor’s Inaugural Ball at the Statehouse Convention Center. All the events will reflect the inaugural theme and beautifully showcase Arkansas and its wonderful people, food, music, and culture.

Inauguration Committee Co-Chairs:

Chairman and CEO of the Retzer Organization, Michael shares Jacqueline’s spirit of volunteerism and love of community as is evident in their support of numerous nonprofit organizations throughout Arkansas. Jacqueline has served as a board member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, CASA of Pine Bluff and is currently on the board of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Art. The Retzers also recently chaired the Arkansas Children’s Miracle Ball. Members of Pulaski Heights Methodist Church, Jacqueline and Michael reside in Little Rock and are the parents of four children.

Inauguration Coordinators:

Cathy Lanier is a successful political fundraiser based in the state of Arkansas and has worked for several years to raise campaign funds for candidates at the local, state, and federal levels. Prior to her work on the Sarah for Governor campaign, she worked for Representative French Hill (AR-02) and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (Ark.), as well as Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. She also worked as a regional finance director for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign in 2016. Cathy grew up in Magnolia.

Megan Turner is a certified public accountant (CPA) who most recently served as Director of Accounting and Compliance on the Sarah for Governor campaign. A graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, she spent ten years in public accounting and business before joining the political field. Megan specializes in state and federal campaign finance and served as Director of Accounting and Compliance for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s 2016 presidential campaign, as well as similar roles for numerous other campaigns and political action committees.

Further details about the inauguration may be found at