After eight years of service, John Van de Kamp announced that he would be stepping down from his post as TOC president and general counsel on July 1, 2004.
Van de Kamp said that he had notified TOC's Chairman, Ron Charles, last summer that he planned to leave in 2004 to pursue a specific opportunity requiring what could likely be a full-time commitment.
"John has served us effectively as TOC and the industry have made major accomplishments, such as obtaining tax relief and helping to open up th marketplace to Account Deposit Wagering," Charles said. "More recently, he was instrumental in the development of the captive workers‚ compensation insurance program for owners and trainers currently in place and also the measure now awaiting action to provide major industry workers compensation relief. He is respected within the industry for his professionalism, civility, and fairness. We'll be looking to utilize his good counsel in the years ahead."
During the transition period, Van de Kamp will continue to represent TOC on the Board of the NTRA, as a member of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, and on a number of outside venues.
Drew J. Couto, now a TOC consultant, will serve as TOC's Executive Director, handling day-to-day operations.
Charles said Van de Kamp and Couto have worked well together in the past; this new interim arrangement will mean that Couto is on-site more often, while Van de Kamp will be present much of the time to lend his help during the transition.
A national search will be conducted by the TOC Board for Van de Kamp's replacement.
Van de Kamp continues as Of Counsel to Dewey Ballantine, is a Vice President of the State Bar of California and President of the California Historical Society, as well as serving on various Boards of Directors such as the Norton Simon Museum and Lawry's Restaurants Inc.