Robert Luddy purchased a sheet metal shop in 1981 and transformed that into CaptiveAire Systems. Today, CaptiveAire employs over 800 employees, with over seventy offices nationwide, and sales over $280 million in 2013. A strong advocate of excellent education, Bob founds schools which help youth develop good character and reasoning skills. In 1998, Bob established the Franklin Academy, an award-winning public charter school in Wake Forest, which now serves over 1,200 K-12 students. In 2001, Bob founded St. Thomas More Academy in Raleigh, a classical, college preparatory high school. In 2007, Bob opened Thales Academy in Raleigh, the first in a network of private community schools offering a high-quality K-12 education at low-cost tuition.