Former California Attorney General John Van de Kamp has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Lawry's Restaurants, Inc., announced Richard R. Frank, president and CEO.
Van de Kamp will succeed Richard N. Frank, the company's chairman since 1970.
Van de Kamp will oversee a plan for smart growth for Lawry's Restaurants, Inc., of Pasadena, California, which operates Lawry's The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills, Chicago, Dallas, and Las Vegas; and licenses restaurants in Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Osaka.
Other holdings include the multi-unit Lawry's Carvery, Five Crowns in Corona del Mar, and the Tam O'Shanter in Los Angeles, which celebrates its 90th anniversary June 22.
Van de Kamp worked in various positions at the company's bakeries and restaurants in the '50s and '60s before serving on the board of directors. He is a former U.S. attorney and the first federal public defender in Los Angeles.
He served as Los Angeles County district attorney from 1975 to 1983 and as the 28th attorney general of California from 1983 to 1991. In 2004, he was elected the 80th president of the State Bar of California.
Richard N. Frank entered the family business in 1947 and served as president and chief executive officer of Lawry's Foods, Inc., until its acquisition by Thomas J. Lipton in 1979. The company produced more than 100 products, including Lawry's Seasoned Salt, one of the most successful seasoning products in U.S. history.
Frank remains an active director and chairman Emeritus of Lawry's Restaurants, Inc.
The origins of family-owned Lawry's Restaurants, Inc., date back to 1915 with a partnership between John Van de Kamp's uncle, Theodore Van de Kamp, and Richard N. Frank's father, Lawrence L. Frank, that established Van de Kamp's Bakery and Lawry's The Prime Rib chain.
"Lawry's Restaurants will benefit from John's wisdom and experience,” says Richard R. Frank. “This reaffirms and strengthens the more-than-90-year relationship between the Frank and Van de Kamp families.”