05/12/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT
Craig Catto, 20, launched his career—literally—two years ago, when he set up a company to design and manufacture motorized hang gliders. A Northern Californian, Catto was a licensed glider pilot at 14 and graduated to powered planes within two years. Hang gliders remained his first love, though he eventually "got tired of climbing up and down hills" to fly them. So Craig and his brother Chuck bought a small go-cart engine and attached it to his glider. "It hopped and skipped for about eight feet," Craig recalls of the Catto Brothers' maiden flight, "but it worked." A year later Mechanix Illustrated ran an article about his 80-pound aluminum-and-fiberglass model. The letters reached 3,000 a month. Catto chose to market his development as a $2,500 do-it-yourself kit, and not only did his mechanical engineer father and his mother, a bank teller, loan him seed money, they also quit their jobs to go to work for their son. Last year Catto Aircraft grossed $125,000 in sales in the U.S., Europe, Australia and South America ("A general in the Chilean air force bought one"). Catto hopes to double profits in 1980—partly by cutting overhead at his San Jose-based firm by, among other things, laying off his parents. No hard feelings, though. Mom still comes in occasionally to help on the books—gratis.
Lauren Kaye, 25, was hired as chef for New York City Mayor Edward Koch in much the same way Ruby Keeler used to get the lead in all those '30s musicals. The Long Island native had been acting as general office manager for the Cordon Bleu Institute in New York when she was asked by one of the school's French chefs to help out at a private party where the hostess had broken her ankle. The guests included Koch, a bachelor who had just fired his second cook in 20 months, and he offered the job to the French chef right after the veal with grape sauce and raspberry sabayon. She declined, but recommended Kaye to head the kitchen at Gracie Mansion (below). The daughter of a lawyer and his art teacher wife, Kaye graduated in 1976 from Montreal's McGill University with a degree in art history and anthropology. She then took off for Paris, where she enrolled at the famed La Varenne cooking school. Now Kaye rises at 6 a.m. and often works until midnight preparing meals for visiting dignitaries from Rosalynn Carter to the cast of Annie. Someday Lauren hopes to run an inn of her own, but she doesn't complain about her $225-a-week pay (plus free room and board). After all, there is lots of time off when the mayor is out eating knishes, kielbasa or crow.