Recognizing the demand for a quality manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation equipment, Bob Luddy purchased a sheet metal shop in 1981 and transformed it into CaptiveAire Systems. Today, CaptiveAire employs over 1,200 individuals, with 90 sales offices and six manufacturing facilities nationwide, and sales over $400 million in 2017.
A strong advocate of excellent education, Bob establishes schools which help youth develop good character and reasoning skills. In 1998, Bob established Franklin Academy, a public charter school in Wake Forest, which now serves over 1,600 K-12 students. In 2001, Bob founded St. Thomas More Academy, a classical, college preparatory high school in Raleigh. In 2007, Bob opened Thales Academy, a network of private schools offering a high quality Pre-K-12 education at an affordable tuition. The Luddy Schools are quickly growing, with nearly 5,000 students enrolled throughout the Raleigh area. Bob is an avid supporter of entrepreneurs and the free market system.