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Millionaires at their mid-30s, Chattanooga's Access America trio began with bricks

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Access America Transport founders COO Allan Davis, left, President Ted Alling, center, and CFO Barry Large stand in the lobby of their Chattanooga-based transport company. Times Free Press photo Access America Transport founders COO Allan Davis, left, President Ted Alling, center, and CFO Barry Large stand in the lobby of their Chattanooga-based transport company. Times Free Press photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Access America isn't like most flashy startups. Sure, almost no one wears suits, and yes, 35-year-old co-founder Allan Davis sports a company tattoo, and it's true that employees throw footballs and do push-ups in the office.

But the Scenic City transportation firm, which on Tuesday was sold by its founders to Chicago-based Coyote Logistics in a deal valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, didn't build itself through a stylish ad-supported apps, fashionable venture-capital buyouts or through typical social-media razzle dazzle.

Rather, this 500-employee juggernaut, which projected $1 billion in sales for 2014, started its journey in the slow-moving world of bricks and bank loans.

The business baby that would grow into Access America was conceived in August 2002 by a trio of fraternity pals from Samford University -- now millionaires in their mid-30s -- in a back room at Key-James Brick, once a Chattanooga building-supply mainstay owned by the father of Access America co-founder Barry Large.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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