About us

Torch was founded by an experienced team of entrepreneurs, executive coaches and psychologists who are passionate about helping enterprises grow their leaders.
Built for scale, our innovative model blends the high-impact craft of coaching with state-of-the-art software and behavioral science for a results-based leadership development solution.
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Our leaders

Cameron Yarbrough

Co-founder | Chief Executive Officer

Cameron is the Co-founder and CEO of Torch Leadership Labs. He brings 20 years of operational experience to his role as CEO, along with an extensive background in mindfulness and psychotherapy.  After a 2005 exit with a “click and mortar” retail company, Cameron spent time learning the principles of mindfulness meditation. Insight from those retreats were foundational to his development, and lead him to study the roots of Freudian and Humanistic psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.  Later, he founded the Well Clinic, a premier mental health company in San Francisco with more than 40 psychologists and therapists. The company is still thriving today with Cameron as chairman of the board. In parallel, Cameron built a successful executive coaching practice that leveraged his business and psychological background.  Cameron worked with CEO’s from some of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies during this period. While an executive coach, Cameron was a part time employee at the Stanford Graduate School of Business serving as an interpersonal dynamics facilitator, running communication labs for business students.

Torch Leadership Labs was the natural next step in Cameron’s leadership journey, as it builds a software, analytics and coaching stack that helps senior leaders be most effective.

Keegan Walden, Ph.D.

Co-founder | Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Keegan Walden is the Co-founder and COO of Torch. In this capacity, he leads a sales team focused on bringing the Torch platform to market. He also develops behavioral science informed tools that generate feedback and analytics to help leaders recognize and overcome their challenges. Prior to founding Torch, Keegan ran the outcomes research team at a national provider of behavioral health services. He has a Ph.D. in Psychology from Northwestern University, and a BA in Psychology from Yale University.

Scott Mercer

Chief Technology Officer

As CTO, Scott leads the engineering organization within Torch. Scott has worked in engineering and technical leadership roles at several start-ups and large enterprises across multiple verticals. He is an organizer and regular presenter for the Python-Buffalo user group.

When he’s not leading our engineering team, Scott can usually be found playing bass or snowboarding around Western New York.

Cher Braden

VP of People and Culture

Cher is the Chief of Staff for Torch Labs. She brings experience in building and scaling global teams across the public and private sectors. Cher has deep international operational experience, such as opening and managing a branch of a financial services company in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to joining Torch, Cher was the VP of Global Partnerships at Kiva, where she managed the impact investing portfolio. She has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and is fluent in French.

Cher is a passionate global traveler, having lived and worked in more than 50 countries across 6 continents. If she’s not planning her next trip, she’s out exploring the Bay Area with her family, hiking, or chasing her toddler (or all three at once).

John Baunach

Head of Product

John has been designing and building consumer and enterprise software applications for 18+ years. Roughly the first 10 of those years were spent working in a variety of startups. John cofounded two of these companies—one was Y Combinator backed and both were acquired. Chasing a desire to “always be learning”, John switched his focus to the enterprise space. He subsequently joined Salesforce, working there for 6 years before joining Torch. 

While at Salesforce, John was an early contributor to two major transformations within the company. He was the first designer for their “pre-sales”, human-centered design innovation team, Ignite. Focused on truly understanding the customer and their pains, Ignite facilitated co-creation workshops that produced plausible solutions and execution roadmaps for making improvements in the short term. This work ultimately led John to his next “startup within an enterprise” moment—he was a founding member of the company’s first verticalized, industry specific product, Financial Services Cloud. John played a key role in the definition, design, strategy, launch, and ongoing growth of the product. From this success he built and led the Industries Product Design team, covering the industry products for Financial Services, Health and Life Sciences, Manufacturing, Consumer Products & Goods, and Government.

When not doing that product thing John can be found in his art studio painting and making things or in Tahoe getting some turns in on his board.

Melanie Steger

VP of Finance

Melanie is the VP of Finance for Torch. For the past decade she has been building out and scaling the finance function in early and fast-growing companies across multiple verticals. Prior to Torch, she served as the VP of Finance at Chewse, recently acquired by Foodee. Melanie has a M.A. in Economics from University of San Francisco.
When she’s not crunching numbers, you can find her spending time in the outdoors either camping or skiing depending on the season. She speaks fluent German, having spent most of her upbringing in Frankfurt, Germany.

Our coaches

Torch coach = Emotional Intelligence + Business Intelligence

The term “coach” can mean many things. At Torch, it means something very specific.

  • Strong academic backgrounds
  • Years of experience  in relevant business verticals like marketing, engineering, operations and organizational design
  • Combined backgrounds in relevant fields of psychology, mindfulness, health and wellness

Your senior leaders need more than the inexperienced life coaches offered at other leadership coaching organizations. 

Because high performing leaders need a coach who also understands the business world, Torch coaches exceed at both business and emotional intelligence. Our high standards ensure they bring a wealth of valuable experience to each coaching session.

Christina

Christina is a certified professional coach, mediator, and facilitator. She has successfully coached a diverse spectrum of clients including start-up CEOs, managers, non-profit leaders, and executives of Fortune 100 companies

Michael

Michael draws upon his experiences as the FBI’s global chief of internal communications, director of a White House national initiative, and improv comedy performer to make coaching engagements powerful, transformative, and fun.

Sherri

Sherri brings 3+ decades of leadership and organizational development experience to her work as an executive coach, facilitator & strategic advisor.

Ready to learn more?

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