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Phc News conducts Q&A with
John Hazen White, Jr.
Interview conducted by John Mesenbrink, chief editor, PHC News - JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2008
After touching down in
Providence, R.I. in early
October, I noticed a brisk
wintry chill in the air. A little unusual
for an autumn day, I remember
thinking. From my cab ride from the
airport, I was yearning for a cup of
hot java or hot chocolate to warm
me up. Little did I know that when I
reached my destination - Taco
Inc., in Cranston, R.I. - things
would warm up the moment I
walked into the facility. From the
warm greeting from the receptionist
to the overall sincerity from the
employees that crossed my path
that day, my disposition felt a whole
lot sunnier. But the icing on the cake
was my meeting with Taco president,
John Hazen White Jr.
I knew right away that the person
across the table was the real deal. I
could sense his genuineness and his
non-nonsense, no-BS, tell-it-like-it-is
attributes. And when he tells me that
he doesn't think that anybody else
would do as good a job as the company
leader, I believe him. John Hazen
White is an extremely confident man,
yet approachable and easy to speak
with, and his gregarious nature keeps
you at ease.
With a Taco employee turnover
ratio a minuscule .5% over the last 15+
years, just ask any one of the 500+
employees who work for him how
he/she feels about him as their captain.
"I prefer to have a really good
feel for the people around me," said
White. And true to form, I watched
firsthand, to my astonishment, White
address all of the employees he saw
on the factory floor that morning by
name, and with a smile. And the
return sentiment was mutual.
Imagine that: the leader of a multimillion
dollar corporation who doesn't
treat his employees as a number.
It's easy to see why Taco has had
many of the same employees since
the early 1990s. "I spent my whole
life making Taco worth something
more than just a paycheck," said
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