Barbara Horton retires from HLB Lighting Design, Carrie Hawley to serve as CEO

March 4, 2021

HLB Lighting Design has announced that Barbara Horton, CLD, FIALD, Senior Principal and Co-Chief Executive Officer has retired after a 41-year career with the firm as of 1 March 2021. Barbara will continue to work as a consultant for the firm and serve out her term on the Board of Directors through the end of 2021 to ensure a seamless transition. Senior Principal Carrie Hawley, IALD, MIES, LEED AP will assume the role of sole CEO following Barbara’s retirement.

For the past 40 years, Barbara has served as a leader and mentor to HLB staff and the greater industry. During her tenure, HLB grew to 15 Principals/Owners, with over 90 team members located in seven offices across North America, serving clients world-wide. She has guided the firm through a successful ownership transition, its first acquisition, and created a culture of design excellence with a focus on the business of design. She has been working side-by-side with firm leadership and co-CEO Carrie for the past year in preparation for her retirement and the continued legacy of HLB.

“We’ve planned for this succession transition from the first day I was honored to take on the role of CEO in 1992. The success of the firm does not lie with one person, but with all the people we empowered to bring their imagination and entrepreneurial spirit to build our firm’s reputation. Working-side-by side with so many of our great leaders throughout my career has been an honor through the lighting journey. The CEO has many responsibilities, but the greatest one is to be the Chief Enthusiasm Officer. Carrie Hawley has the historical foundation and perspective of the future to continue the work we’ve started and take HLB through the next 50 years,” said Barbara.

In her new role as the CEO of HLB Lighting Design, Carrie brings 25 years of lighting design expertise and leadership at HLB, with a portfolio of award-winning projects with renowned clients both nationally and internationally.

“I am humbled and excited to take on this responsibility and step into the enormous shoes that Barbara has filled as CEO for the past 29 years,” said Carrie. “Our firm has a strong culture of strategic planning and innovation, both in lighting and in business, and I am immensely excited to continue to grow this culture and elevate the profile of lighting design in the world today.”

Carrie joined HLB in 1995 as a member of the New York office, working under the guidance of Barbara and quickly ascending to positions of greater responsibility. In 2001, Carrie spearheaded the business plan and development of eLumit, a web-based lighting product search engine and specification tool. In 2007, she developed a strategic plan to open HLB’s fourth office in Boston and was named a Principal of the firm. She has been an active member of HLB’s Board of Directors since 2011 and will assume the role of Chairman of the Board in concurrence with her move to CEO.

“This is a huge moment in my career, and I am looking forward to leading our team as we continue to advance our industry and shape inspiring, innovative, sustainable and healthy environments through lighting design,” said Carrie.

About HLB Lighting Design
Founded in 1968, HLB Lighting Design is the largest women-owned (WBE), independent architectural lighting design firm in North America. Our holistic lighting design approach creates transformative and experiential environments in the natural and built environment for our clients around the world. Our team delivers an unparalleled depth of lighting expertise cultivated from a variety of professional backgrounds and organized to achieve extraordinary design impact.


Abigail Iorio - Senior Associate, National Marketing Manager

HLB Lighitng Design


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