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Next Generation: Alexis Becker, Delaware North's VP of internal audit

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 is one; click here to see more.

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Alexis Becker, the vice president of internal audit at Delaware North since January 2016, said she was drawn to accounting because it matches her personality. The Lockport native said she's the kind of person who still balances her checkbook every week.

Becker, 38, was inspired by a high school accounting class to continue her studies at John Carroll University and Miami University, both in Ohio, and become a certified public accountant.

People may assume accounting is just number crunching, Becker said, but it's really understanding how financial data tells a company's story.

Becker started at PWC, the major accounting firm, in Cincinnati before moving to a regional firm where she worked in the restaurant practice. The restaurants relied on her firm's expertise in managing everything from employee benefits to the introduction of new technology. That industry experience led her to Delaware North, which has an extensive portfolio of restaurants, concessions, tourism and gaming.

Becker said she was impressed with the Jacobs family, which owns Delaware North, and their ambitious plans for growth. It was also a chance for her to move back to her hometown.

She and her team are focused on putting the best controls in place to improve company processes and minimize risk.

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