Robert L. Luddy is a business and educational entrepreneur. A graduate of LaSalle University and a U.S. Army veteran, Luddy purchased a sheet metal shop in 1981 and transformed it into CaptiveAire Systems, leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems in North America. Today, CaptiveAire employs over 1000 employees, with 90 sales offices nationwide and sales over $300 million in 2015. However, Bob Luddy is more than just a businessman, he is a champion for children’s education and a school choice advocate.
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 private Catholic college preparatory high school in Raleigh. In 2007, Bob opened Thales Academy, a growing chain of independent Pre-K-12 schools offering high-quality education at an affordable tuition. The Luddy Schools are quickly growing, with nearly 3,000 students enrolled throughout the Raleigh area.
In 2007, Luddy was awarded the Ludwig von Mises Entrepreneurship Award for “entrepreneurial success and devotion to the free-market ideal.” He has two grown children and five grandchildren.