JOPLIN, Mo. - Thirteen area chambers of commerce representative from three states, including Miami, gathered recently in Joplin for a visioning session deemed “historic” by area business leaders.

The summit was the first of its kind and brought together more than 100 business and community leaders, education representatives, chamber executives and tourism professionals to discuss the future of the tri-state region. The event was facilitated by Erick Burton of the Burton Leadership Center.

A conclusion drawn from the four-hour summit was that the region is “truly borderless and all entities in the region have similar concerns, desires and wishes for the success of the region.”

Organizers report that participants presented a strong consensus that the future success of the region will be determined, in large part, by people's willingness to work together for mutual success.

A steering committee was established to develop a regional council to foster good communication and coordinated efforts regionwide, according to organizers. Additionally, participants proposed and volunteered for eight sub-committees that will develop a plan to meet with state and federal legislators in August to show the united support in the region.

Sub-committees target education, asset mapping and benchmarking, marketing and branding, regional economic development, region appearance, infrastructure, tourism and healthcare and social services.

Chamber offices participating in the summit included representatives of Anderson, Mo., Barton County, Mo., Carl Junction, Mo., Carthage, Mo., Columbus, Kan., Grove, Joplin, Mo., Miami, Neosho, Mo., Pineville-Jane, Mo., Pittsburg, Kan., Sarcoxie, Mo., and Webb City, Mo.

Cindy Morris, director of the local chamber, represented Miami. Also representing Miami was Amanda Davis, program director of the Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.