Acting CEO takes helm at Sunflower Farmers Market

Boulder, Col. -- Sunflower Farmers Market appointed Chris S. Sherrell as its CEO, the natural grocery chain announced Friday. He has worked with Sunflower since its inception in 2002 and most recently served as the company's president and COO.

Sherrell has served as the acting CEO since the middle of February, shortly after Michael Gilliland, the company's founder and then-CEO, was arrested in Phoenix following a prostitution sting operated by undercover Phoenix Police Department officers.

Gilliland subsequently was indicted on accusations he knowingly offered to pay for sex with "Marissa" -- the alias of an undercover female Phoenix police officer -- whom he believed to be 17 years old, according to court documents.

A jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 9 for Gilliland, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Sunflower has 33 stores in six states- Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah. It plans to enter California later this month and Oklahoma this fall.

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