Frank Orth started Frank Orth & Associates in 1979 when he came to Seattle.
Prior to his arrival in Seattle, Dr. Orth was Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska, and performed economic research for the
Alaska Sea Grant Program.
FOA originally started as a company that provided fisheries research, economic consulting, and
business management consulting. In the beginning, FOA provided consulting services for Alaska Fisheries, various
government agencies, Indian tribes, and private businesses.
Another function of FOA in the early days was to provide observers for foreign fishing vessels. The success of that program helped launch FOA’s involvement in numerous fisheries observer programs, including the North Pacific and California Drift Gillnet Observer Programs. One of the early innovations of FOA was to become a fully automated office. Today, this is commonplace. But, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, it was still a new idea. FOA developed billing and computer services for its internal use. These innovative ideas would play a crucial role in FOA’s future.
“In 1984, new opportunities in the consulting business dried up,” according to Dr. Orth. There was little market for economic consulting, but there was a market
for FOA’s internally designed computer software. Thus began CSS (Custom Software Services), the forerunner to ProVantage Software, Inc. With the arrival of Mike Mullen in 1983, current Senior Vice President of Research and
Development, CSS formalized its software product and began selling the software to law firms and government legal agencies. This set the groundwork for ProVantage Software,Inc.,
FOA’s parent company.
The relationship between ProVantage Software, Inc. and FOA is a close one. ProVantage provides FOA with its latest software and technology. Having access to this technology helps FOA remain a
leader in the fisheries research industry. As for the future, when asked what his goals were for FOA, Dr. Orth replied, “To maintain and build our client
relationships and expand our scope of business.” FOA has a great history. As a company that began as a consulting firm for the fisheries industry, it now provides staffing
for industry research. In addition to directly performing this research, over half of FOA’s work force
are employed as computer techs, writers, lab technicians, and in-office support positions.
Would you like to be a part of this team that has provided quality service for over 22 years? Then visit our job pages to learn about the different positions that FOA has available. Also visit our employment page to learn about positions that are currently available and if you are interested, send us your resume.