Our Team


Ford Pearson - CEO

As chief executive officer for HLB, Ford Pearson oversees all strategic planning for the firm. Prior to his election as CEO, Pearson was an adviser to the HLB board for more than 15 years. Pearson's professional experience encompasses a broad range of strategic and tactical endeavors in a wide variety of industries including service, transportation, finance, commercial banking, travel, and product development. He received an MBA from University of Chicago and is on the board of Northwestern University's Initiative for Sustainability and Energy

Sam Labanco - Director of Mechanical Engineering

Sam was a product development engineer with significant involvement in manufacturing in the medical device business at Baxter, and marine engine business at Outboard Marine.  At both companies he was tasked with additional responsibilities to lead field investigations to create solutions for product problems.  For the last 20 years he has worked in the product development consultancy business where he has earned 15 patents for his inventive and innovative work on hundreds of consumer, industrial and medical products. 

Vince Bowman - Director of Industrial Design

Vincent’s understanding of functional design is broad based as he is a student of architecture, a model maker, a painter, an expert illustrator and expert user of a variety of design software programs.   He has 30 years of experience in the application of human factors and branding aesthetics. He has created iconic designs and has earned more than 50 patents.  He brings all of this understanding and knowledge to his project work.

Richard Riback - Product Development Specialist

Richard has been doing product development for over thirty years.  He has an extraordinary range of experience and has worked as a designer and an engineer.  His projects included water filtration equipment, pumps, and fluid controls that eliminated environmental hazards.  Richard has 12 patents primarily in fluid management and several highly successful office furniture products.