Meet The Equity First Consultants Team

Margreit McInnis

Margreit McInnis

Business Development Manager

Margreit has been passionate and dedicated to helping clients reach their financial goals since her career in the financial industry began in 1999. Her 23 years of experience is rooted in a strategy that concentrates on the basics such as good cash flow management, budgeting, and credit health. Once this is accomplished, it is a great reward for her to see clients able to build wealth over time.

Margreit is currently the Business Development Manager for Equity First and took the position to enhance the client service and financial needs of the growing organization. In her role she assists the team by analyzing client strategies, assists clients in their implementation plan and is a face for the growing brand in the community. Margreit spearheads the firms contract and helps to maintain a positive pipeline flow.

When not at work, Margreit enjoys volunteering with local community-based organizations. She enjoys living on Long Island with her two children and her very friendly cat. In addition, she is a published author of two children’s novels, Runaway at Sea, based on true life experiences of her grandfather.

Lester Archibald

Lester Archibald

Regional Sales Manager for Atlanta

A graduate of New York University, Lester has background in Healthcare administration and extensive experience and success in pharmaceutical sales. With a proven track record as a field sales representative in New York and Georgia, Lester has received numerous awards for his achievements; including being the top sales representative in New York State and amongst the top in the nation.

As the Regional Sales Manager for Atlanta, Lester plays a vital role in the development of business and client relationship’s. He is responsible for the recruitment of other top industry professionals, bringing community awareness of our products and services, build and foster his own centers of influence and monitor the pipeline reports for the region. In addition, he is influential in our Preferred Partner Programs with auto dealerships, Solar Companies, Mortgage and Real Estate Professionals.

Lester lives in Atlanta, GA and enjoys playing the piano, tennis and world traveling.

Stephen Spurgeon

Stephen Spurgeon

District Manager

As an award winning Marketer and Creative Director across all mediums, Stephen has been running Liquid Marketing group since 2008. As a business specialist with a pulse on the business community via his role as President of BOSS, when the pandemic hit in 2020 and the opportunity to engage with a company that allowed him to use his current skills and relationships was available, becoming the District Manager for Equity First was a natural fit. Stephen has demonstrated leadership in profit and non-profit sectors., is a resourceful, instinctive problem-solver with a strong sense of urgency. A respected team leader and business development specialist.

In his current role with Equity First, Stephen is responsible for building strategic relationships with industry professionals, build and foster brand awareness which includes the Equity First Financial Literacy Education Programs. As part of the team, he engages with community center, schools, libraries and business and facilitates free community programs as part of the Equity First Give-Back.

In Stephen’s downtime, he enjoys assisting local charities with volunteer work. He sits on several boards and is an active parent to his three adult children. Stephen currently resides in Deer Park, Long Island.

Dennis J. McGrath, Esq.

Dennis J. McGrath, Esq.

In House Attorney

Dennis J. McGrath, is the managing partner at McGrath Klaus and Associates, LLP. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Manhattan College in Business Administration and Finance. Mr. McGrath went on to earn his Juris Doctor from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center where he excelled, graduating Magna Cum Laude, a member of the Touro Law Review, a Pro Bono Scholar, and an inductee to the Touro Honors Program. Additionally, he has extensive real world business experience, having owned and managed several international fashion design and manufacturing and companies for over 20 years and managing a medical supply company for the Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County.

Mr. McGrath focuses his practice of law in the fields of real estate transactions, foreclosure defense, personal injury and civil litigation. He is admitted to practice law in the States of New York, Connecticut, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

​Mr. McGrath was recently honored by Super Lawyers as a 2021 Rising Star in the legal profession. Additionally, he sits on the Board of Directors and is Chief Legal Counsel for Homes for Our Heroes, a not for profit organization helping to save homes of U.S. military veterans in financial distress. He sets himself apart from other attorneys by incorporating his wealth of business experience and interpersonal skills into his practice of law. Mr. McGrath also speaks fluent Spanish and does extensive work in the Hispanic community. He has consistently proven his dedication to achieving the best outcomes for his clients with a “take no prisoners” approach

Stephen Klch

Stephen Klch

Co-founder of Equity First

As the co-founder of Equity First in 2004, Stephen plays a vital role in the daily operations of the organization. Stephen’s main responsibility is project management and is behind the scenes in the organization. He is responsible for technology upgrades, management flow and tools and other essential upgrades to keep the company data secure. Stephen is also a co-producer for the show The Credit Authority which is hosted by his partner, Rhonda Klch.

Stephen’s background in real estate investing, home buying and home inspection add tremendous value for the business relationships in this space that Equity First maintains. As a credit and financial solution center, Equity First works with many real estate investors, cash buyers and realtors – Stephen’s expertise lends to this area as he will often be a lead consultant on a project. His expertise is often valued for the clients we service as well. He is able to discuss distressed properties, costs of repair, market evaluations, and the foreclosure options with ease to a client that may be facing a foreclosure. In 2006 when the real estate market collapsed, Stephen led his team to assisting thousands of homeowner’s RETAIN home -ownerships by managing a dedicated team of staff to facilitate loan modifications on behalf of the attorney firms we are contracted with.

Stephen is the proud father of 5 boys and is dedicated to watching and helping them grow up. He is an active member of his community and in his downtime he enjoys all outdoor activities. He loves to be at his home upstate NY where he and the family have a beach home to enjoy- when the home is not in use, Stephen and his wife donate the time to families in need ( charity partners ). Stephen and his wife call the home, The Haven.

Anthony Puzone

Anthony Puzone

Small Business Specialist

Anthony started his career as a Wall Street banker working with the largest banks in the world. While working on Wall Street, he built amazing relationships with banks, pension funds, hedge funds, credit unions, and private lenders. Anthony decided to open his own firm, specializing in small and medium sized businesses that needed to secure financing. This was a specific nitche that Anthony realized was needed but yet difficult to secure for the average person. Anthony is very creative working with clients and lenders , helping to facilitate action plans and business timelines. The lending products are business credit lines, business loans, asset-based financing, commercial loans, and grants. My advice to all business owners is to secure financing when you do NOT need it so it is there when you do.

As the small business specialist with Equity First, Anthony’s role is to deep dive into a clients business and understand the function, flow, deposits, agreements, cash reserves, assets and more. He works with clients to establish business credit, work through debt to income issues and restructure agreements. In addition, Anthony is responsible for the applications and submissions of applications. Anthony maintains a separate pipeline for small business clients and is in consistent communication until the file is approved, funded and closed.

Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones

Regional Manager

Lisa’s career spanning three decades of working with industry professionals has earned her multiple awards for sales and service excellence. Lisa’s travel and event management sales ability and motivating leadership skills is the driving success behind her brand. With more than thirty years of experience, her firm specializes in international event production and group experiential travel, from simple elegance to exotic luxury. Lisa Parham Jones is the driving force behind Worldwide Group Travel & Events along with her seasoned team they handle every element of the international event.

Worldwide Group Travel specializes in unique high-end custom curated group experiential trips, music festivals and destination wedding planning. Worldwide Group Travel & Events brings travel and event services together under one umbrella, giving customers top-notch service and one stop event planning.

Over the last few years, Lisa and her team have expanded to create unique retreat programs, several which surround the area of finance and wealth management. This new creation was well received and it became Lia’s role to find alliance partnerships to continue to grow her brand. It is in this role that she met the Managing Parter of Equity First, Rhonda Klch.

Lisa is now an active Regional manager serving regions of NY, CT and PA. Lisa’s role is to oversee the large regions, grow the corporate structure and build new alliance teams. Lisa’s experience with WWGT ( a company she still successfully runs ) has taught Lisa the value of diversity in the workplace, team building and thinking outside the box to grow.

Joe DiChiara CPA

Joe DiChiara CPA

Best Selling Author, Serial Entrepreneur

Over the past 35+ years I’ve worked, “in the trenches” with thousands of small business owners helping them with everything from simple bookkeeping to tax audits, forensic accounting and criminal IRS investigations. I chose this profession because I love entrepreneurship and wanted to learn as much as I could about it. Being able to take an idea and turn it into cash was fascinating and the idea made me believe that anything was possible. At ten years old I ran a successful casino in my driveway. I must have made about $4 so working for someone was totally out of the question. Forget becoming President, the job didn’t pay enough! What I learned is that most businesses fail and until recently I didn’t know why.

We have a system that is so complex and confusing that it can’t be done alone. It’s expensive, there is too much bad information and too many inexperienced and incompetent tax preparers and accountants. I’ve decided to do something about it by creating an affordable platform for new entrepreneurs to get on track and stay there. I believe that education, training and support is the solution and Bedrock University (www.bedrockuniversity.com) is the 1st step with my main business, Bedrock Business Builders Corp (www.bedrockbusinessbuilders.com) providing affordable, quality accounting and tax services. For more information go to www.timewithjoe.com and schedule your free chat with me.

In his position with Equity First, Joe mentors new business owners and creates action plans for those that need to get to the next level. Joe and his team work in tandem with the business development team of EFC to enhance the overall savings of a client, add asset protection where it may not have been included, build solid foundations for book keeping and overseeing client success strategies are being implemented.

Pierre Yepes

Pierre Yepes

Sales Support

Equity First is proud to have Pierre on our development team. His background of strong communication skills was created during the time he served for the United States Army. As a Veteran, Pierre connects well with the military personnel and departments that we have on contract. Pierre’s ability to relate to scenario’s is vital for the success of our programs.
Pierre will be facilitating lectures and training programs for “At Risk” Veterans as well as re-entry programs. Equity First has been working with the Veteran community for over 10 years providing the financial literacy resources such as : understanding credit, creating a budget, assisting in housing applications, holiday fundraisers and more.
Pierre has over three years servicing the mortgage and real estate community. He is a hard working, passionate individual that is proud of the relationships that he has built.
In his role, he will also be growing his network of business professionals such as CPA’s, bankers, wealth managers and more. These centers of influence are part of the overall growth plan that EFC has for the Florida region.

Pierre currently resides in Naples, FL. He enjoys paddle boarding, running, and traveling the world.

Sharlene C. Gillespie

Sharlene C. Gillespie

Business Affiliate Program

Gillespie Business Services was started because the community lacked education and affordable services in the financial and legal services world. Our motto is simple, “Each one, Teach one.” Our vision is that everyone who reaches out to us is serviced with professionalism and respect, with affordable prices.
We at Gillespie Business Services offer a number of services that caters to our clients financial and legal needs. We offer notary services and loan signings. For those needing legal assistance, we prepare documents such as bankruptcy, divorce, immigration, deeds, power of attorney, wills, etc. For those needing financial assistance, we offer credit repair, bankruptcy, tax preparation, business loans and first time homebuyers assistance and/refinancing.

In her role at Equity First, Sharlene acts as a liaison for our Florida based clients. She assists in managing our Florida accounts and does in person appearances when needed. Sharlene is a great center of influence and works with many respected leaders in the industry. EFC is proud to have an affiliate relationship with Gillespie Business Services.

Harry D’Onofrio

Harry D’Onofrio

Client Relations Manager

Harry D’Onofrio spent last 20 years in the financial management arena servicing the areas of : mortgage lending, real estate, asset management for banks, hedge funds and institutional portfolio managers. In this space he has learned to utilized relationships which are critical to his new role at Equity First as a Regional Manager of Business Development. Harry’s knowledge of analyzing loans, reviewing real estate asset portfolios and calculating margins will all be useful knowledge as he grows new business relationships on the eastern coast of Florida which include Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Boynton Beach, Deerfield and West Palm.

Harry is most excited to assist with client management as it reminds him of one of his past positions at Merrill Lynch where he was a financial consultant advising investors on their planning strategies. Harry knows, each client at Equity First receives an action plan developed for their individual needs, and the backend staff of Equity First will assist in the implementation.

In his role at Equity First, Harry will manage client relations, assist with written action plans and manage the corporate accounts within the geographic areas.

Harry currently resides in Boca Raton and enjoys traveling, cars, boats , staying fit and attending charity bases events that support his community and beliefs. Harry attended New York Military Academy and Pace University.

Janine Jaycox

Janine Jaycox

Business Mediator

Janine is an experienced divorce and business mediator with over 30 years of experience. As a seasoned mediator and contract specialist. Janine has been assisting couples and businesses resolve disputes as a skilled neutral third party.
As a Family Mediator Janine has been assisting couples in resolving their issues in a compassionate yet impartial manner since 2010.
As a mediator, her ability to work with her clients in a positive forum, with momentum and focus on the issues at hand. have as effectively assisted couples to reach agreements that fostered the mediation process in a respectful manner and have concluded with stipulations that were affable to the parties involved. Janine’s belief that creating a positive environment no matter what the situation is, will breed positive results. Life is ever-changing, but you can roll with it and successfully move forward.
She acknowledges the importance and need for couples to have an alternative way to resolve their family issues without the need for court intervention. Upon settling the couple’s concerns during the mediation sessions, a draft is given to both parties for review and approval. Janine, as an experienced mediator, will draft and file the appropriate court documents needed to acquire a Judgement of Divorce.
As a Conflict Resolution Business Specialist, Janine’s previous work experiences include, being a Director of Contract Negotiations for One Source Electronic Components, a Procurement and Compliance Specialist for Procurement Technologies, Director of Operations at Medstock, President of JMJ Business Consulting Inc., and Vice President, co-founder and Licensed Realtor of East End Estates Realty Inc. The approach Janine has successfully utilized and refined is the art of communication. She has helped her clients resolve all issues relating to the workplace. Co-ordinating sessions between employer and employees, company and vendors, and company and clients. Her resume also includes Commercial Contract Negotiations, including Financial and Debt Consolidations, Acquisitions, and Payment Plan Restructuring for Individuals as well as businesses.
As a trained and expert mediator with a proven track record, Janine has utilized in person and remote sessions to successfully and conveniently host mediation sessions in all forums, for the one-on-one and group resolution sessions. Reaching a fair and just resolution while customizing a legally binding agreement that has satisfied all parties she has assisted. Janine’s attitude and confidence is brought to the table, giving her clients the perspective that “There is always a solution”.
Dayna Garrett

Dayna Garrett

Regional Manager

Dayna Garrett started her career as a mortgage banker in 1997. Dayna built her career through centers of influence. She developed personal relationships with realtors, CPA’s, accountants, bankers and other industry professionals. Through her career she has assisted hundreds of client refinance and purchase their homes. Dayna took full satisfaction in knowing that she was part of an important step in her clients lives. Dayna also found the satisfaction from helping clients reach their goals and this included the “extra” time spent to discuss credit or financial concerns that could have held them back. As a Regional Manager with Equity First Consultants, Dayna is looking forward to adding Centers of Influence to the EFC Preferred Partner Program which in turn expand our outreach to the community . Dayna will be building corporate accounts and assist in business development growth.
When not at work, Dayna enjoys living on Long Island and likes to see live music, sing, travel and assist those in her community.

Call Today To Get Started

1-833-269-2380

Email: info@equityfirstconsultants.com

Address:

PO BOX 601, MT. SINAI, NY 11766