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Christopher Lyon, President
Christopher Lyon, the President of our company, is an avid learner – it’s his passion. “Learning inspires me both professionally, and personally. Personal growth, while not always easy or comfortable, adds vibrancy to life. It’s also a passion I try to share – in an alternate universe, I’d be a high school chemistry teacher.” Christopher enjoys working on vintage cars, usually around his age (we’ll skip that part) and finds the focus relaxing. He says, “The concentration required to fix them means I don’t think about much else.” He doesn’t take himself too seriously, likes to laugh and has a very positive outlook.
Funny thing about Christopher is that he feels like he was “born a hundred years too late – my favorite foods are salty, pickled, or smoked. It was the only kind of food you could get prior to the advent of the refrigerator.” Tournesol is lucky to have Christopher as our president – we’re in this together!
Favorite Tournesol product? Christopher’ favorite is the Wilshire Box Hanging Planter – he says “Years ago, we had customers asking the best way to hang a planter on a wall, so I invented one. It’s proved its use over the lifetime of the product.”
Pinal Mehta, our Head of Operations has lived in the Bay Area for almost 30 years, with his wife and now two kids. Coming from Mumbai, where he attended boarding school, he says “I can totally relate to the Harry Potter books, as the books’ characters also lived away from home.”
In the beginning of his Bay Area life, Pinal says that “Chris Lyon [our president] and I made a deal – he would be responsible for getting orders from customers while I would be responsible for getting them out, and that is the fun job I’ve today. I get to make some cool stuff!”
Today, Pinal enjoys running and has “managed to run a half marathon on 2 continents so far – 5 more to go!” He still has vivid/fond memories of India (and visits often), and he shared a fun memory: “When I was about 12 or 13, on my way from Mumbai to Djibouti, I got to ride in the cockpit (jump seat) of an airplane, as my dad knew the pilots. Amazing to see the landing from that view!”
Favorite Tournesol product? Pinal’s favorite is our irrigation system – he says, “when used correctly it makes the user’s life a lot simpler. The simplicity of the product is marvelous.”
John Denman, Head of Sales
John Denman, Head of Sales, has been with Tournesol for over a decade. John is passionate about his leadership role, mentoring his team to do their best, and to always put the customer first. He and his team thrive on collaborating closely with designers, to help bring a vision to life. As John says, “I’m especially excited to work on projects that push boundaries and make us reach beyond the easy to achieve the extraordinary.”
John is someone who enjoys pushing himself to the limit both physically and mentally. He is a cyclist and mountain biker, he rides most weekends and can proudly boast that he has twice completed the Mammoth Gran Fondo (a week-long cycling trip up the Rhine, from Strasbourg to Lake Constance) - wow!
Favorite Tournesol product? John’s favorite product is the Wally Bench - he says, “because of the integration of the bench seating with the planter. The proximity of the greenery/plantings adds to the tranquility of the seating area.”
Carla Dougher, our Head of Marketing, grew up in Northern California where she currently lives with her family. Carla spent several years working in ecommerce and high-tech, before stepping into her role at Tournesol where she oversees marketing, and the customer journey. In her leadership role, Carla is enthusiastic about workplace culture and is driven by her passion for great design and her entrepreneurial spirit.
In her personal life, Carla is an avid golf-enthusiast - playing a round of golf as often as possible. Carla enjoys various interests including gardening, traveling, and raising backyard chickens.
Favorite Tournesol Product? Carla’s favorite is the Wilshire Collection Round Planter - for its clean and uncomplicated design. She appreciates the round planter creates a highly effective way to configure space using live plants.
Carla Dougher, Head of Marketing
Annette Melin, our Head of Finance and Administration, is the newest member of our leadership team. Born and raised in Northeastern Ohio, she has spent her career in San Diego, until moving to the San Francisco Bay Area a few years ago. While she strives to continue learning and growing, Annette also enjoys helping others to do the same. She shared, “While I don’t always succeed, I try to be a little better every day, whether it is mentally, physically or emotionally.”
While spending time with her family, Annette enjoys cooking her favorite food - homemade pasta with a Bolognese sauce, accompanied by homemade sourdough bread. She enjoys quilting, crocheting, and knitting, and says, “I really enjoy anything that results in a final product. It’s kind of like manufacturing on a personal level.” A fun fact - Annette climbed to the top of Mount Whitney in California - 14,505 feet high and it took 18 hours - what a huge accomplishment!
Favorite Tournesol Product? Annette’s favorite product is the Boulevard Screen – she appreciates the natural wood of the planter, and the green growth of plant life climbing the screen.