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 1000 employees, with 90 sales offices nationwide and sales over $300 million in 2015.
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 1,200 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 3,000 students enrolled throughout the Raleigh area.