Vincent Armenta announced his resignation March 17 as chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
Armenta is leaving to pursue a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
“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 has served as chairman since 1999.
“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.”
Armenta helped the tribe build a business enterprise comprised 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 with parcels throughout the Santa Ynez Valley.
Vice Chairman Kenneth Kahn will serve as interim chairman until a new chairman is elected.
“Under Chairman Armenta’s leadership, our tribe has traveled further than any of us ever thought possible,” said Kahn. “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.”
The tribe employs more than 1,700 residents of Santa Barbara County and is the largest employer in the Santa Ynez Valley.
• Contact Glenn Rabinowitz at [email protected]