Vincent Armenta Resigns As Tribal Chairman Of The Santa Ynez Band Of Chumash Indians

Mar 17, 2016, 18:06 ET from Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

SANTA YNEZ, Calif., March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Longtime tribal leader Vincent Armenta announced his resignation as Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

Armenta was first elected to the role of Tribal Chairman in December 1999 and has been re-elected in every tribal election since.  He has been a tireless advocate for his tribe and has been instrumental in positioning the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians as one of the most successful tribes in California.

"Nearly 17 years ago when I first became Tribal Chairman, I was a young man who had no tribal government experience, but what I did have was a strong desire to work on behalf of my tribe to take us to the next level and position our tribe for a better future," said Armenta.  "I believe I have done that."

Along with his fellow Business Committee members, Armenta built a thriving business enterprise composed of the Chumash Casino Resort, Hotel Corque, Root 246, the Hadsten House, two gas stations and a winery. The tribe also has a growing real estate portfolio that includes parcels throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.

A new Tribal Chairman will be elected according to the tribe's articles of organization.  The tribe's Vice Chairman, Kenneth Kahn, will serve as the Interim Tribal Chairman.

"Under Chairman Armenta's leadership, our tribe has traveled further than any of us ever thought possible," said Kenneth Kahn, Interim Tribal Chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.  "He led our tribe from relative obscurity to being one of the most visible and dynamic tribes in the nation.  I am grateful for all that he has done for our tribe and wish him the best."

Armenta was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York and will leave his position as a tribal leader to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in culinary arts.

"I have always enjoyed cooking, but it's been a lifetime dream to delve further into the culinary arts and enhance my talents in this area," said Armenta.  "When one of my sons attended CIA a few years ago, I thought that someday I would attend – and that day has come."

Armenta will start classes in the next few months.  "I will watch with great interest as our tribe's new Tribal Chairman leads our tribe toward an even brighter future," he said.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians owns and operates the Chumash Casino Resort, which is located on the tribe's reservation on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, California. The tribe also owns Hotel Corque, Root 246 and the Hadsten House in Solvang and two gas stations in Santa Ynez.  As the largest employer in the Santa Ynez Valley, the tribe employs more than 1,700 residents of Santa Barbara County.

See timeline below



December 1999      

Elected to Tribal Chairman

March 2001              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

July 2002                  

Tribe broke ground on $157 million new casino project

March 2003              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

June 2003                

Chumash Casino Resort opened

May 2004                  

Chumash Casino Resort Hotel opened

March 2005              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

November 2006       

Tribe purchased Royal Scandinavian Inn in Solvang

March 2007              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

April 2008                 

Tribe published comprehensive Samala dictionary

March 2009              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

May 2009

Tribe refurbished and rebranded the Royal Scandinavian Inn as Hotel Corque and Meadows restaurant as Root 246

April 2010                 

Tribe purchased 1,390 acres known as Camp 4

March 2011              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

October 2011           

Highway 154 designated "Chumash Highway" by California Legislature

May 2012                  

Tribe purchased Hadsten House in Solvang

May 2012                  

Chairman Armenta testified before Congress on trust land

March 2013              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

May 2013                  

Tribe launched Kitá Wines

February 2014         

Tribe and city of Solvang entered into a formal government- to-government relationship

June 2014                

Bureau of Indian Affairs placed 6.9 acres into federal trust

September 2014      

Tribe hired renowned architects Jones & Jones for museum

October 2014           

Tribe began construction on $175 million casino expansion

November 2014       

Tribe reached agreement with Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department to provide services to reservation

December 2014       

Bureau of Indian Affairs issued "Notice of Decision" on placing Camp 4 land into federal trust

March 2015              

Re-elected to Tribal Chairman

May 2015                  

Tribe reached agreement with Santa Barbara County Fire Department to provide services to reservation and beyond

June 2015                

Chairman Armenta testified before Congress on HR 1157

July 2015                  

Tribe purchased 350 acres adjacent to Camp 4

August 2015            

Tribe and city of Lompoc established formal government-to-government relationship

September 2015      

Re-negotiated Tribal-State compact ratified by California Legislature


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SOURCE Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians