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Higgins tops list of region's movers and shakers


Business First is out with its list of the most influential people in Western New York. Rep. Brian Higgins tops this year's Power 250 list. "He's got a lot of pull, a lot of clout," says Business First reporter Jim Fink, who cites Higgins' resettlement fight with the New York Power Authority, money that has funded much waterfront development in Buffalo.

Coming in second is Jeremy Jacobs, the Chairman and CEO of Delaware North Companies. Fink says Jacobs wields tremendous power both locally and nationally as a key voice in the National Hockey League.

"He's one of the closest advisors to [NHL Commissioner] Gary Bettman. He owns the [Boston] Bruins. It's a privately-held $3 billion per year company here in Buffalo. They could be anywhere, but he's chosen Buffalo. He's an easy choice for #2," Fink told WBFO News.

Also in the top 10 of this year's list are developer Howard Zemsky and Carl Paladino, Mayor Byron Brown, UB President Satish Tripathi, Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder and Rich Products CEO William Gisel, among others. Paladino topped last year's list.

At #250 are Luna and Kali, the Buffalo Zoo's popular polar bear cubs who helped boost attendance figures at the zoo by 12 percent in 2013.

The full list is online here.