Couto Takes Over as TOC President

Drew Couto, one of the founding directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, has been named president of the organization. He succeeds John Van de Kamp, who has been elected president of the State Bar of California.

Couto was involved in TOC's formative years, having served on the board in 1993-1994. He became its first executive director and general counsel, and served on the board again in 2001-2002. From 1996-1999, Couto was president and general counsel for the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association in Lexington.

"Drew is one of those who contributed greatly to the founding of TOC," founding director Mace Siegel said in a release. "He left us to go to TOBA, and we're glad to have him back in California. He is doing a great job, is working very hard for owners, and has united the board. We could not have found anybody better suited for this position."

The TOC is charged with representing owners in legislative, administrative, and business matters. It is the organization that negotiates purse contracts with racetracks.

Ron Charles chairs a 15-member board that includes Donna Arnold, Martin Bach, Tom Bachman, Michael Cooper, Barbara Dutton, Robert Huston, Alan Landsburg, Marvin Malmuth, Jack Owens, Don Rego, John Sadler, Art Sherman, Siegel, and Donald Valpredo.