Hatch has a vision of Springfield reaching its full potential. The basis for a strong community is strong neighborhoods, and a region isn’t different: the basis for a strong region is strong cities. In order for Springfield to reach its full potential, we need to collaborate with our neighboring cities to develop a sense of community for our region.

Project Details

After learning about the benefits of regionalism from other communities, Hatch, along with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, asked, “What would regionalism look like for us?”

We’ve seen communities thrive when they join for a larger impact, such as Northwest Arkansas, Tulsa, Greensboro NC, and many others. These regional efforts in Northwest Arkansas, for example, have paved the way to solve problems such as highway expansions, building airports, education, the housing market, childcare and even getting clean water to rural areas. Hatch and CFO hired Ted Abernathy, a consultant from Economic Leadership, to work with a group of community leaders to figure it out. This work group was comprised of the private and public sectors alike and met over months to discuss what role this new group could play, what issues to address, and how it should be created. The group, under Ted’s guidance, agreed that a new 501(c)3 group should be formed, solely made up of leaders in the private sector, and spanning over 10 counties. The new organization will be named LORE (Leaders of Ozarks Regional Evolvement) and plans to initially focus on regional branding, workforce attraction and quality of life. Collaborating with private and public leaders, LORE is setting the goal to be the catalyst for positive transformation over the next twenty years, effectively writing the future for our community for generations to come. 

Read the Economic Leadership report.

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