Hundreds of local leaders met Friday morning to discuss ways to make South Jersey successful in the future.
The message of the day was clear: Sandy is behind us and the Jersey Shore is rebounding.
"South Jersey is on the uptake. South Jersey is really making a large comeback," Rowan University Professor Bob Beatty said.
In the annual sound off for South Jersey convention, more than 250 leaders both public and private gathered to talk about continued success and what needs to be done to keep the local economy going.
"This is an opportunity for us as legislators to interact with the business community, development community, and listen to what their concerns and problems are, and give them a sense of where we think things stand in the state," Sen. Jim Whelan said.
Many of the leaders simply came to network as they tried to figure out how the private and public sectors can work together to benefit South Jersey.
"My job is a connector. My job is to find that person who needs help and the organization who can help them and find new ways we can work together to help create new jobs here to get South Jersey rolling again," Beatty said.
Other topics for the day included better disaster preparedness and the 2013 fiscal budget.
In its 31-year history this is the first year the event was held in Atlantic City. Organizers wanted to show everyone outside Atlantic County that Atlantic City is back.
"Its essential for people to realize that they need to come back and support the New Jersey economy through shore business," Atlantic City Alliance Liza Cartmell said.
While leaders agree things are bouncing back, they say there is still a ways to go.
The ramped up A.C. marketing campaign may be a good first step as tourism officials say it seems to be working based on national surveys.
However, this summer's numbers will tell the full story.
Portions of this event will air on NJTV throughout the state over the next few weeks.