SPECIAL TO CONTRACTOR
CRANSTON, R.I. — Marking the first physical expansion of Taco since 1954, President and CEO John Hazen White Jr. dedicated a 60,000-sq.-ft. addition to the company's 1160 Cranston St. facility in a ceremony Feb. 16 here.
"This building dedication is a huge commitment to the state of Rhode Island," White said during the event, noting that Taco employs 500 people at the facility and at another in Fall River, Mass.
Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts acknowledged the company's commitment in their remarks as did Cranston Mayor Michael Napolitano, who also spoke at the event.
Taco will use the addition for warehousing and shipping its products. The company manufactures pumps, valves, tanks, electronic controls and accessories for use in hydronic heating and cooling applications.
Taco purchased the land for the new addition from Edward Imperatore, who operated a crane service next door to the company for many years. John Hazen White Sr. had acquired Taco's original building in 1954, converting what had been a trolley barn into a manufacturing operation.
The company dedicated the addition to John Hazen White Sr. and his wife, Mary "Happy" White. John White Jr. noted that "for many years the growth and development of Taco was driven and overseen by John and Happy White." He further credited his parents with "having created a solid foundation from which we have based our growth and success" over the past 15 years.
A photo portrait of the couple, taken in the 1990s in John Hazen White's tower office at Taco, was unveiled at the ceremony and will hang on a wall in the new building. An accompanying plaque cites the dedication of the addition in their names, dated Feb. 16, 2007.
Elwood White founded the company in 1920. John Hazen White Sr. took over Taco upon the death of his father in 1942 and ran the company until 1997. He died in March 2001.
The John and Happy White Foundation, started in 1999, supports a variety of charitable, educational, social service and arts organizations in Rhode Island. Members of the Rhode Island Philharmonic performed after the dedication.