PUBLISHED: 3:56 PM on Wednesday, April 25, 2007
President retires, new delegates announced
Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska
WRANGELL - The Central Council Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announces Bill Martin as the Council's new President, and Fred Lauth as the new 6th Vice President.

President Martin brings 15 years of experience as a delegate to the Council, 9 of which he also served as a Vice President. He retired from the Tlingit & Haida Technology Industries in 2005, where he was the Operations Manager for two years. Prior to that, he was a Programmer for MVS mainframe systems and a Customer Service Representative for hardware systems at IBM for more than 38 years.

Former Governor Murkowski appointed Martin to the State Suicide Prevention Council, and he currently holds the Chair. He also currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Inter-Tribal Monitoring Association on Indian Trust Funds, based in Albuquerque, N.M.

"I appreciate the support I've received from the General Assembly and Central Council," Martin said. "I will be putting Suicide Prevention on the table, and I look forward to continuing the efforts that President Thomas has put in place." President Martin will be based in the Juneau Headquarters.

Seattle delegate Fred Lauth, originally from Hydaburg, was elected by the Council's governing body during its 72nd Annual General Assembly. He has served as a delegate for over 20 years, and a Vice President for 8 years. He has also served as the Tlingit & Haida Washington Chapter President for three terms and is very active in the Washington Chapter. In 1985 Lauth received his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington. During his term he plans to work to better the conditions for all Tlingit and Haida peoples.

"I'm overwhelmed by the faith and honor that has been shown to me and my wife Marian," Lauth said.

Former president Edward K. Thomas announced his retirement last week during his State of the Tribe Address to delegates at the 72nd Annual General Assembly.

Because of the succession rules set by Central Council's Constitution, Martin succeeded President Thomas for the remainder of his term, which ends in April 2008. At that time, Central Council delegates will reconvene and elect a new President.

Thomas said his decision was not made for any medical or political reason, but that it was time to move on to a new chapter in his life.

President since 1984, Thomas has dedicated the last two decades to providing the highest level of dedicated service to the tribe.