Even without an expected appearance by Gov. Rick Scott, Coastal Cloud’s fifth anniversary celebration featured most of Flagler County’s elected officials and a host of community leaders.
Founded by Tim and Sara Hale in 2013, the business and technology consulting firm headquartered in Palm Coast, has grown to 140 employees and did $20 million of business in 2017.
“This is a big day for Coastal Cloud,” said Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland, who is also an employee at Coastal Cloud. “Five years ago, it goes by in the blink of an eye.”
Holland said the company’s diversity and explosive growth are a showcase for the county’s economic development efforts as the company has expanded to serve local, national and international clients.
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As part of the anniversary celebration, co-founder Sara Hale talked about the company’s effort with CareerSource Flagler Volusia, the Flagler County Education Foundation and Flagler Schools to offer internships to high school students.“They are the most amazing group of students,” she said. Sara Hale encouraged business owners at the event to get involved in internship opportunities. “Every single one of you can help our students get work-based experiences,” she said.State Rep. Paul Renner offered his congratulations to the Hales, outlining three key ingredients to job creation and economic growth that are embodied by Coastal Cloud, including setting the right environment, providing opportunity and the quality of life offered in Flagler County.
“What’s neat is that the success model you have here can be duplicated,” he said.Flagler County Commissioner Donald O’Brien spoke about how Coastal Cloud has become not only a growing business in the county, but an active community partner.“They are job creators and have invested locally,” said O’Brien, who also serves as chairman of the Flagler County Economic Opportunity Advisory Council. “When a local government thinks about economic development and the companies it wants to attract, this is what an ideal prospect looks like. I think they epitomize what success looks like in economic development.”
Local business community leaders also had praise for the Hales and the impact Coastal Cloud has made in Flagler County.
“They are by far the number one biggest success story we’ve ever had in Flagler County of a business started here,” said Bruce Page, president and CEO of Palm Coast-based Intracoastal Bank and a former chairman of the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s good for our community that we have a nationally recognized company in our midst.”
 
Co-founder Tim Hale said the opportunity for the company to work with the school district and others mentoring students is important for the community’s future as well as that of the students’ themselves.
Speaking about the importance of learning and embracing new technologies, Hale said that knowledge gives the next generation opportunities for success.“If you do that, you’re driving the ship,” he said. If you don’t, you’re getting run over by the ship.”
Read the full story and see photos on The Daytona Beach News Journal.