CRANSTON, RI — John Hazen White, Jr., Chairman & CEO of Taco Comfort Solutions, was recognized by Providence Business News (PBN), a prominent Rhode Island weekly, with its third annual Strategic Leadership Award.
The Strategic Leadership Award, provided to an individual who has made a decisive difference in leading their company to success, is part of the publication’s annual Manufacturing Awards, now in their third year.
White was recognized in absentia on the evening of March 15, at a ceremony held at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI (he was in Italy on business as a result of Taco’s recent Askoll Pumps acquisition). Gene Fina, Taco’s Vice President of Marketing, accepted the Strategic Leadership Award in his place.
Other awards given out that evening recognized RI and southeastern Massachusetts manufacturers in 12 individual categories ranging from lean manufacturing excellence to supply chain management and workforce development and productivity.
In recognizing Johnny White, PBN ‘s longtime editor, Mark Murphy, described him as a “man well-known for his strongly held opinions and personal style, but he is as forward a leader as any.”
Commenting on Johnny White’s leadership of Taco, now Taco Comfort Solutions as a result of the company’s recent rebranding and restructuring led by White, Robert Lee, Vice President of Operations and a 35-year veteran of the company, told PBN that John White, Jr. “has the innate ability to see things before they happen. He provides very clear direction for the management group and then, of course, that works its way down throughout the organization.”
White is well known in his home state of RI for his good government and tax reform efforts over the years. Under his leadership, Taco has succeeded and is growing in a state that has witnessed a 22 percent decline in manufacturing jobs since 2005.
In related news, John White, Jr. has been named one of “30 Driving Forces” in the RI business community, again by Providence Business News. Driving Forces are “events and individuals that have had the largest economic impact on our state, particularly over the past five years,” in the words of PBN, which is celebrating its 30th year of publication in 2016.