But the most notable guest that day was Mary “Happy” White, the 87-year-old mother of John Hazen White Jr., Taco president and CEO. In a program handout, her son credited his parents with “having created a solid foundation from which we have based our growth and success.” The new warehousing and shipping addition was dedicated to his parents, John Sr. and Mary.
White Jr. unveiled a photo portrait of the two taken in the 1990s in what is now White Jr.’s office. The portrait along with a plaque will hang in the new building.
The event included remarks by Gov. Donald Carcieri; Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts; and Cranston Mayor Michael Napolitano.
Mary and her husband established the John and Happy White Foundation in 1999, which offers support to charitable, social services and arts organizations, such as the Rhode Island Philharmonic. A half-hour performance from the orchestra included some of the White family’s favorites.