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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 White....MORE

Click here or on the photo for a PDF of the entire article.