Meet the Team

Horizon LED was formed in 2010 and is the product of a combined 100+ years of lighting knowledge and experience in the lighting industry.

Recognizing the changing needs of commercial and industrial customers, Horizon LED sought to fill a need for more than just another lighting distributor. Horizon LED maintains an unlimited electrical license in a number of states. Horizon LED stocks and distributes fluorescent and HID lamps and ballasts along with LED components but our main focus has always been to advise and offer turnkey state of the art solutions to achieve the most efficient lighting. Additionally, Horizon LED is recognized as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB).

We have performed LED upgrades in 24 states and maintain Preferred Trade Ally status with the power companies in many of those areas. Prior to the formation of Horizon LED, Mike Richardson directed a highway lighting upgrade in the UAE


Mike Richardson


Michael Richardson (Mike) is a lifelong resident of Charlotte, NC. A graduate of Myers Park High and UNC Chapel Hill, Mike has been married to Melinda since 1988 and they have three children – Lauren (Denver, CO), Kathryn (Durango, CO) and Cameron (Charlotte, NC).

Mike spent five years with Merrill Lynch before getting into the lighting industry over 30 years ago.  After 24 years in the distribution side of the industry, Mike’s focus changed towards the energy savings sector and he founded Horizon LED Energy Solutions in 2010.  With many international contacts, Mike leads Horizon LED’s manufacturing of our own brand of fixtures made to our specifications.  Mike also leads the design side of Horizon LED drawing CAD based site specific drawings to meet our customer’s needs.  Most interesting project?  Aircraft hangar lighting.


Bill Budnick

Vice President

William M. “Bill” Budnick was born in Manchester, Connecticut and moved to the Charlotte area in 1985.  A huge Boston Red Sox fan and a craft beer enthusiast, Bill also plays the electric guitar and the drums.  Married to Kathleen Budnick since 1998, Bill has three children – Jessica, Will and Amelia.

Bill has been in the lighting industry since 1991 and is practically a dictionary of lighting specifications, Bill has the knowledge base to be a great benefit to the customers of Horizon LED.  Of the hundreds of projects managed over the years, a 2017 project replacing 400w HPS with Horizon LED’s 100w 1st Star 140 high bay at a national freight carrier’s distribution hub would be the most interesting.  Bill joined Horizon LED in 2015.


Melinda Richardson

Treasurer and Secretary

Melinda was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and went to Oklahoma State University.

A mother of three, Melinda’s background was in real estate when Horizon LED was formed in 2010.  As treasurer and secretary for Horizon LED, Melinda is also the majority shareholder of the corporation.  Melinda enjoys tennis, bridge and traveling.  Interesting tidbit?  Melinda and Mike Richardson met on an airplane traveling from Dallas to Denver.


Chris Barton

Project Manager and Licensed Electrical Contractor

Christopher E. Barton (Chris) was born in Long Island, NY and is married to Alison.  Chris and Alison have five children – Alisa, Alana, Arika, Aleila and Christopher.  The family loves traveling together and playing with their dog, two cats and a bird.  Chris enjoys fishing and making improvements to his family’s house. Chris can fix anything.

Chris spent four years as an electrician’s helper before working as an apprentice for two years.  Chris has knowledge of residential, commercial and industrial electrical contracting as well as having done some solar projects.  In 2012, Chris passed the NC Electrical Contracting exam and formed his own business before coming to Horizon LED as a project leader in 2017. Chris addresses each project with pride and efficiency and every Horizon LED customer praises his work ethic.


Will Bowen

Project Manager and Licensed Electrical Contractor

William G. Bowen (Will) is a native of Hendersonville, NC and is the father of four and a grandfather of seven.

Beginning his career in the electronics industry while working as a teenager with his father, Will worked for years managing stage audio and lighting production for such artists as Ronnie Milsap, Percy Sledge, Alan Jackson and Reba McIntyre.  In fact, Will was the audio and lighting lead when Garth Brooks was performing in Gastonia just as his big hit, “Much Too Young to Feel This Damn Old” hit the top ten on the Billboard Charts.

Will moved into the electrical contracting and HVAC fields and has been licensed in NC for over twenty years and SC for fifteen.  Will founded and runs his own private contracting business but joined Horizon LED as lead contractor in 2011.