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The Sunflower Farmers Market board of directors has appointed Chris S. Sherrell to serve as the company's CEO.
Sherrell, 34, has been with the company since its inception in 2002. He started in the natural and organic channel of the grocery business at the age of seventeen as a deli clerk making minimum wage. As Sunflower grew, he progressed through numerous roles, serving as director of operations, new store operations team, meat and seafood director, and IT director. He has served as president and COO since October 2008.
“Chris has been running the successful day-to-day operations of Sunflower for years and has been a tremendous contributor to the company’s growth,” said chairman Bennett Bertoli.
Believing that superior customer service begins with enthusiastic employees, Sherrell has created and maintained a strong staff, empowering them, and respectfully holding them accountable. Under Sherrell’s leadership, Sunflower was able to more than triple its size in the last three years.
Sherrell is also a big believer of giving back and making an impact in each individual community where Sunflower operates. Volunteering and donating to local organizations like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, increasing green efforts, and providing tools for a healthy lifestyle remain at Sunflower’s core and help contribute to the company’s overall success.
“The board has been continually impressed with Chris Sherrell’s strength of leadership and commitment to excellence in all areas,” said Bertoli. “We’re confident in his ability to successfully direct the Sunflower team as the company continues to expand.”
Sunflower expects to open at least 17 additional stores within the next three years, creating a total of 50 stores with sales well over a half a billion dollars a year. When asked what his vision for the company was, he replied, “To position Sunflower to hit the one billion dollar sales mark within the next three to five years.”
Sunflower Farmers Market currently has 33 stores throughout six Southwestern states: Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Texas. The company plans to expand into California this month and into Oklahoma in the fall.