April 9, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Francis De Luca (919) 834-2099 firstname.lastname@example.org
Businessman and Schools Founder Receives Audentia Award from Civitas
RALEIGH – The Civitas Institute has honored businessman and philanthropist Robert Luddy with its annual Audentia Award for courage and civic engagement.
He received the fourth annual Civitas Audentia Award at the non-profit organization’s recent Conservative Leadership Conference (CLC) in Raleigh. The award was given in recognition of his business leadership as founder and president of CaptiveAire Systems, and his civic leadership in establishing and supporting top-quality private and charter schools.
The award’s citation read, “For your stalwart defense of free enterprise and your unwavering commitment to the highest quality educational opportunities for all North Carolina children. Your exemplary leadership, generosity, and dogged determination are matched by none, and an inspiration to all.”
The award was presented March 27 at the CLC keynote dinner by Ted Fowler, who is retiring as CEO of the Golden Corral restaurant chain.
“Audentia means ‘courage’ and ‘boldness’ in Latin,” said Civitas President Francis De Luca. “Bob Luddy consistently showed the willingness to take risks and succeed in building an industry-leading business, and also in founding schools to offer North Carolina students options for a high-quality education.”
Robert Luddy is a lifelong entrepreneur. In 1976, Bob settled in Raleigh, and with $1,300 capital, he opened Atlantic Fire Systems in a one-room facility. Recognizing the demand for high-quality kitchen ventilation equipment, Bob purchased a sheet metal shop in 1981 and transformed it into CaptiveAire Systems, Inc. CaptiveAire is now the nation’s largest and most well-respected manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems. In addition to CaptiveAire, Bob founded and developed the Franklin Park Industrial Center, which has drawn over 15 entrepreneurial businesses and hundreds of jobs to Franklin and Wake counties.
A strong advocate of excellent education, 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, private, 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.
In summing up his remarks upon accepting the award, Luddy said, “Be bold – but be right.”
Previous winners of the award were Ron Margiotta, for his work on the Wake County School Board; grassroots activist Cathy Heath, for her successful drive to reform municipal annexation law in North Carolina; and Dick Adams, for his longtime efforts on behalf of the rights of crime victims.
The Civitas Institute – “North Carolina’s Conservative Voice” – is a policy institute based in Raleigh. More information on Civitas is available at www.nccivitas.org, or contact Communications Director Jim Tynen at email@example.com or (919) 834-2099.