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20 Under 30: Jack Cate

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Our "20 Under 30" interview series with the coolest Angelenos under 30 continues (don't despair, we're almost done) with an interview with Jack Cate. A third party nominated Jack with this description: "Why they're cool: Jack's developing embedded electronic systems, handling IT for an international firm, and being a father to 3 kids. He's just 28 years old and on the fast track. He's been on the cover of MSI Magazine and speaks around SoCal on tech."

We couldn't agree more.

Age and Occupation:
28, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of an international aerospace defense contractor. The firm has 5 divisions in the US and 2 overseas in Europe.

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How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and which neighborhood do you live in?
My wife and I have lived in Los Angeles for 6 years. We live in the busy and convenient Pico Robertson area. I grew up in Palo Alto, CA so I've been in the NoCal and SoCal communities. We moved to LA from Manhattan, New York where we lived on the Upper West Side. 98th and Amsterdam is a far cry from the quiet streets of Beverlywood Adjacent. I'll take the night time sky in LA over Manhattan's sky scrapers any day. However, I'll take NYC's MTA over LA's MTA any day of the week.

Why do you live in Los Angeles?
My previous employer, an online automotive information provider, moved my wife and I to LA in 2000 and we've been here since. Our families live in New Jersey so we fly quite a bit. Our kids are Gold level frequent fliers on America Airlines.

What is it like working in the Southern California aerospace industry?

The firm I work at is always expanding the possible avenues for growth and revenue. There's a stigma that aerospace doesn't pay big bucks or offer advancement. That's not true. Firms like BAE and mine have room for growth and advancement. I've gotten to see a lot of great projects from beginning to end and it's great to work in an industry where you actually help build things.