Dr. Griffis grew up in West Texas, the only son of a farmer. Worked summers in building construction while attending Texas Tech University as undergraduate, then worked in university library while in graduate program. Moved to Florida when accepted into Ph.D. program in horticulture at University of Florida. Several years later became Director of Research & Development from major plant micropropagation company in South Florida. Later, became greenhouse manager for foliage production company in Central Florida. Accepted horticulture faculty position at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL in Fall 1988 and moved up to full professor before leaving for specialist position in the Tropical Plant & Soil Science Dept. of the University of Hawaii in 2003. In early 2009, joined a Hawaiian research corporation working on commercialization of biofuels from algae before joining the faculty of Florida Gulf Coast University in Fall 2009. Considerably interest in international horticulture resulted in a volunteer consulting program in Zimbabwe in early 1995. More than 30 international volunteer projects in various countries have been completed since then. Also taught horticulture overseas in Zimbabwe, Mauritius and Turkey.