Staff Report

Kenneth Kahn has been re-elected as tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians along with Raul Armenta, Maxine Littlejohn, Mike Lopez and Gary Pace — the other four members of the tribe’s governing body, its Business Committee.

Kahn was elected to the Business Committee in 2003 and served for seven consecutive terms as secretary-treasurer and vice chairman. He became tribal chairman in a special election in 2016.

Under his chairmanship, the tribe completed its casino expansion project and saw its Camp 4 property placed into federal trust by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The tribe’s chairman and Business Committee members each serve two-year terms and are responsible for establishing policies and overseeing the legal and business affairs of the tribe while providing for the economic well-being of its members.

Armenta serves as vice chairman, having been elected in a special election in 2016.  Prior to his appointment to the Business Committee, he served almost two decades on the Santa Ynez Gaming Commission where he, along with four other members, was responsible for providing regulatory oversight of the Chumash Casino Resort.

Littlejohn was first elected to the Business Committee in 2000 and became secretary-treasurer in 2003. She temporarily left the committee to serve on the Gaming Commission from 2005 to 2009 but returned to the Business Committee in 2015 and has been re-elected as a member every year since. She is again the committee’s secretary-treasurer.

Pace was first elected in 2004 and has been re-elected to the tribe’s Business Committee in eight consecutive elections. Officials said he has worked diligently on the tribe’s behalf through many important tribal milestones including the purchase of Camp 4, the acquisition of Hotel Corque, Hadsten House and Root 246, and the launch of Kitá Wines.

After serving for almost a decade as the Gaming Commission chairman, Lopez joined the Business Committee in 2015.  The recent election serves as his third consecutive term on the tribe’s leadership team. He also serves as a representative for the tribe’s Education Committee and is a board member for the United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.