AFTER 100 YEARS IN BUSINESS , TACO COMFORT SOLUTIONS BOTH EMBRACES ITS HISTORY AND INNOVATES FOR THE FUTURE .
T aco , a third-generation , family-owned multinational company based in Cranston , is the hub for engineers and manufacturers who create high-efficiency indoor heating , cooling and air quality comfort systems . An American-based company with a global reach , Taco has sales and manufacturing locations in the U . S ., Canada , Italy , Switzerland , the Czech Republic , Germany , Poland , and Vietnam .
Founded by Elwood White in 1920 as the Thermal Appliance Company , Taco launched its business with a firepot generator that heated water over a coal fire . The company expanded under the leadership of White ’ s son , John Hazen White , Sr . Eventually , the Thermal Appliance Company name was shortened to T-A-C-O , or Taco .
John Hazen White , Jr . succeeded his father , and under his guidance , the company and its product offerings have grown dramatically . White , Jr . has carried his father ’ s vision forward , building the finest training facility in the industry , developing new high-efficiency products and technologies , and expanding into international markets .
Today , Taco Comfort Solutions is a world-class manufacturer of circulators , pumps , valves , controls , heat exchangers and systems for
Taco Comfort Solutions Global
Headquarters on Cranston Street in Cranston , RI . ABOVE : A Taco Heaters delivery truck outside the South Street plant in Providence , RI .
residential and commercial buildings . Taco ’ s ever-expanding line of products and services provide contractors , engineers and building owners with the most efficient and cost-effective comfort solutions to meet their current and future needs .
Taco invests heavily in the training and professional development of its contractors and engineers through its web-based FloPro University , as well as on-site factory training at Taco ’ s $ 20 million Innovation and Development Center ( IDC ), located in the Cranston headquarters . The IDC was designed to showcase the latest in highefficiency products from Taco Comfort Solutions and provide “ Living Laboratories ” of installed and operational products , as well as hands-on demonstrations and instruction .
In 2019 , White , Jr . brought Cheryl Merchant on board as President of the company to help drive its future growth then was quickly promoted to CEO in 2020 . Throughout Taco ’ s 100 years , however , the one factor that has remained constant is the White Family ownership . Johnny ’ s sons , John III and Ben , are actively involved in the company ’ s leadership .
Even as Taco Comfort Solutions grows and becomes more innovative , the company remains loyal to the source of its success : The employees . Taco received the Best Places to Work award in Rhode Island , in part because of the job training and educational opportunities provided to employees . Taco also supports the communities where they operate . Taco ’ s charitable arm , The White Family Foundation , supports the arts , music , education and healthcare in the state of Rhode Island . tacocomfort . com
78 RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY l JULY 2021