Kenneth Kahn was named new tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians late April 28 following a special election to replace Vincent Armenta, who resigned in March.
Kahn, 39, was first elected to the tribal leadership team in March 2003 when he was 25, making him the youngest person to ever serve on the tribe’s Business Committee. He went on to serve as vice chairman and secretary/treasurer before being elected chairman.
He has lived on the reservation for most of his life and attended local schools. He graduated from Santa Ynez Valley High School.
Kahn serves on several boards, including of the Unity Shoppe of Santa Barbara, the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA and the Channel Islands YMCA.
“I am deeply honored that my fellow tribal members have elected me to serve as our new tribal chairman,” Kahn said in a news release. “I look forward to working alongside my fellow Business Committee members to ensure that the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians continues to grow and prosper.”
The tribe’s chairman and Business Committee are responsible for establishing policies and overseeing the legal and business affairs of the tribe.
In addition to owning and operating the Chumash Casino Resort on the tribe’s reservation, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians 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.
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