Michael A. Ferraro, founder and President of Preferred Commerce, Inc., began growing vegetables for his father’s garden center when he was a child. As a third-generation nurseryman, he learned firsthand the benefits of gardening, as well as running a successful family-owned business. From there, Michael moved on to establish a prosperous career in the financial services industry as a retail stockbroker/manager for investment brokerage firms. While his 14-year financial calling flourished, Michael chose to go back to his growing roots to create a thriving business that has made significant impact on more than just the horticultural industry: It is now changing the lives of families nationwide. Under Michael’s vision and leadership, Preferred Commerce and its team designed and built the learning system that trained tens of thousand of Lowe’s Garden Center employee’s world wide for 5 years. Michael did not think that was enough and started to focus on children and families. Preferred Commerce now has its focus on it’s children’s-gardening division, Growums®, and are encouraging kids and adults alike to grow and eat their own healthy food, giving them gardening knowledge and skills, a chance to live a healthy lifestyle, a way to fight obesity, an opportunity to help the environment, and time to have fun with their families. Today, Growums has received a number of awards nationally, been praised by some of the best retail analysts in the country and has sold its products in more than 2,000 stores nationwide and nearly 1 million garden kits just during its beta launch. As a result of his company’s success, Michael has been given The Arthur E. Turner Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award and was asked to participate in an MIT Enterprise Forum of South Florida Case Study. He continues to propel his company to even greater success, expecting to help millions of more families, schools – and the environment – in the process.