Travis Proctor ’98 co-founded his first company, offering computer support services, as a junior in high school. He had a knack for the emerging technology, and he liked helping people solve problems.
He was drawn to Florida Tech from rural Colorado because he wanted an academic program that combined his dual interests: computer science and entrepreneurship.
Unlike peer institutions at the time, Florida Tech allowed students to take business courses in tandem with their primary program of study, the equivalency of an academic minor.
“The ability to take business courses while taking computer science courses was one of the key factors attracting me to the university,” says Proctor.
He quickly applied his growing skillset, founding Artemis IT during his sophomore year. Named for the Greek goddess of the hunt (drawing inspiration from Gordon Patterson’s mythology course), it seemed like a fitting name for a fledgling company—fierce and fertile, first in a phonebook and ending in MIS, managing information systems, the essence of the company.
At the same time, Proctor balanced responsibilities as student body president, a job in IT support for the auxiliary services office and a full course load, ultimately graduating top of his class.
This practical experience, professional network and solid academic core helped lay the groundwork for the future success of his company.
“The classroom education was certainly the foundation, but because I had the opportunity to engage in so many different things while at school—interacting with folks, managing teams, working toward end objectives—it better prepared me to drive the business forward,” says Proctor.
A Fateful Partnership
Teresa Ho ’95, ’98 MBA, says fate brought her to Florida Tech.
After a year abroad at the University of Nottingham, the Panama native was fed up with the gloomy British climate and longed for a location more like home. She set her sights on Florida and applied to many universities.
Then Hurricane Andrew struck. Postal service was interrupted and no acceptance letters were able to reach her in Panama. Enrollment deadlines were approaching, and Ho was panicked.
“I knew about Florida Tech because my cousin was already enrolled in the computer science program,” she says.
Ho did eventually receive her Florida Tech acceptance letter and studied business administration. She was also involved in the International Student Organization (ISO).
“I was very active with ISO because I enjoy meeting people from all over the world and helping new international students acclimate and make connections,” she says.
“In England, I was very homesick so I knew how important it was for international students to get involved and build a support system.”
She met Proctor through mutual friends, and over time, the two became colleagues and eventually a couple.
Ho was the first full-time employee of Artemis, which at that time was housed in a modest office space in The 1900 Building in downtown Melbourne. She served as office manager, handling every task from accounting to reception.
She adapted easily to the high-tech industry, drawing from her experience as a graduate student assistant (GSA) in the School of Business where she managed the school’s first dedicated computer lab.
“For me, moving to the IT industry was very easy because I could understand the lingo; I was familiar with the environment. It was a natural progression,” she says.
And a perfect pairing. As Proctor focused on building the technical side of the business, Ho managed the financial aspects. Yet, it would be 13 more years before their business partnership became a romantic one.
Today, Proctor, as chief executive officer, and Ho, as chief financial officer, have built Artemis into a thriving IT management and consulting company, employing nearly 55 people and serving clients throughout Central Florida.
They wed in the Florida Tech Botanical Garden in 2007 and welcomed their son John in 2011.
“Florida Tech holds a special place in our hearts,” says Proctor. “From a business perspective, it helped us prepare ourselves and build a successful company, and on the personal side, it’s where Teresa and I met.”
“We were proud of our Florida Tech degrees when we graduated, but it has been amazing to see how the university has progressed. We feel like our degrees are becoming more prestigious as time goes on because of the growth and increased recognition of the university. We are proud to say we’re Panthers.”
So What’s Next?
Much like the university where it started, Artemis continues to flourish. The company has successfully navigated a merger, enjoyed substantial growth and anticipates expanding into Central Florida more aggressively in the coming years, while Proctor and Ho strive to maintain work-life balance.
“I so look forward to spending every minute I can with our son,” says Ho. “Time is flying, and he won’t be young for long!”
The couple also remains committed to the community, with Proctor serving on the boards of several charitable organizations including the Florida Tech board of trustees.
From student body president to university trustee, his path has come full circle, and perhaps his next appointment will be Panther parent.