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Next Generation: Nick Sinatra and Amy Nagy of Sinatra & Co. Real Estate

They are part of the next generation of leaders in the Buffalo Niagara region, filling top roles in health care, banking, development and manufacturing as the local economy accelerates its transition from the old economy to the new. Some are new to the area, bringing with them an infusion of fresh ideas. Others are natives, with a keen sense of the region's past and its long struggles. Each of these up-and-coming leaders is in a position to help sway the direction of the Buffalo Niagara region. Here are two; click here to see more.

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Nick Sinatra, a Buffalo native whose family owns Sinatra's Restaurant in Kenmore, has quickly become a major figure in Western New York development since he returned to his hometown a decade ago with the backing of a private-equity firm and a wealthy family office.

Since then, the Wharton School graduate — who formerly worked in the governor's office and the White House — has built a large portfolio of apartments and commercial space in Western New York, Chicago and Southern California, with more than 1,900 apartments and more than 1 million square feet of space in Western New York alone.

Most recently, Sinatra & Co. Real Estate renovated the Market Arcade Building, partnered with William Paladino on a plan convert the former Children's Hospital into Elmwood Crossing, and teamed up with People Inc. and David Pawlik for an apartment project on Jefferson Avenue.

Amy Nagy, Sinatra's director of development, has become a core part of his team since joining in 2013 as director of marketing and finance. A native of Oregon who has spent much of her life in Southern California, with a family actively involved in real estate and construction, Nagy came to Western New York 14 years ago, after working in the real estate brokerage business in Orange County. The licensed sales agent, who formerly worked at Hastings Cohn Real Estate, says she realized Sinatra "was definitely going to be a change-maker" and is now the point-person for many of his development initiatives.

"We are still the new kids on the block. A lot of folks paved the way before us, but we've been very busy," Nagy said. "I've been able to be a part in some small way of the change that's occurring, so that's pretty exciting."

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