After graduating from University of California, Los Angeles in 1989, Stephen E. Thorne IV found himself in a tough job market, so he began working at his father’s dental practice in Victorville.

“My father asked me to put a computer system into his practice, and since I was pretty good with a computer, he asked me to computerize his practice,” Thorne said.

That initial step led Thorne to get an in-depth look into how a dental office works. In 1994, he started Pacific Dental Services, which is based in Irvine.

The company, often known as PDS, has been on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America for 13 years in a row.