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Meet Your Team

The Patriot Funding, Inc. team members are highly experienced lending professionals with unique banking relationships. We take the time to understand the needs of each client and their diverse goals.

Leadership Team

Click on a team member’s photo to contact them directly.

David Antonelli

Founder & CEO – Chicago, Illinois

David spearheads the execution of the company’s loan origination strategy and is responsible for growing and managing Patriot Funding’s Nationwide sales team and its Customers across the country. Since 2008, he has amassed a deep expertise in real estate finance, SBA, Bridge & Hard Money Financing – all of which combined contribute to the success of Patriot Funding’s platform. David Spent the first 12 years of his career as a Residential Loan Originator, after the 2008 economic crisis imploded upon our great Nation, David Gathered Individuals around the Country and continues to do so to bring Educated Professionals together with Business minded Entrepreneur’s to assist them in exceeding their goals thru ways of creative and successful Business & Real Estate Finance.

April Gricus

Chief Operating Officer – Chicago, Illinois

April was appointed to the position of Chief operating Officer in 2016. She joined the company off the back of a 20 year career managing projects and supply chain solutions with a record over the past 10 years for delivering substantial change, cost savings and efficiency improvements in many organizations.

Since joining Patriot this work has continued by putting in place many of the organizational procedures and work practices that we still follow today. It is April’s attention to detail and procedural knowledge that allows us to work as efficiently as possible.

Rob Creason

President – Chicago, Illinois

Rob brings a proven track record in management and business. Having spent the last 10 years working with underwriters understanding their process, implementing improvements and being part of the review process Rob knows how to get funding in the easiest most efficient way.

Rick Geraci

Director of Business Development – Chicago, Illinois

Rick Geraci has over 40 years of management and marketing experience across a broad spectrum of industries.  He has devoted over a decade to both wholesale and retail financing options nationally. Rick provides an abundance of knowledge and experience; his mission is to accelerate the expansion of Patriot Funding.

Todd McConkey

VP of Commercial Lending – Chicago, Illinois

Todd McConkey has been in the Real Estate industry for over 30 years. He started in the custom home building industry and evolved into his own company as a renovation specialist for 18 years. He obtained his real estate license in 2005 and has served his residential and commercial clients with integrity and creative problem solving abilities.

Sales and Business Development Team

Gregg Jech

Director of Client Services – Chicago, Illinois

Gregg Jech comes to our team with over 20 years of Client Service experience. He has built products lines, departments and divisions for multiple organizations all focused around client retention and satisfaction. He is a focused and dedicated professional who has built a career on finding solutions that meet the needs of his clients. He will work to ensure your culture is understood, your challenges are resolved and your business is treated with the respect and attention it deserves.

Griffin Merkel

Directior of Commerical Lending – Phoenix, Arizona

Griffin has a created a wealth of high net worth individuals and friends through his 35 year career in fundraising, construction and as an entrepreneur. His expertise is in understanding the needs of businesses through acquisitions, expansion capital and equipment.

Brian Capuano

Business Consultant – Morgan Hill, California

Brian has been involved in the real estate community for the past 30 years with a record in achievement and has demonstrated success leading, managing and delivering professional services with strategic sourcing, operational and organizational effectiveness in technology, finance and merchant services.

    Frank Geraci

    Director of Business Development – Chicago, Illinois

    Frank comes to Patriot-Funding with over 26 years of sales/management and marketing experience spanning across multiple industries. He has a worked for over a dozen years in the financial industry originating conventional and government loans for purchases and refinances. His energy and his commitment to help others is a trait that does not go unnoticed.

    Frank is committed to enhance the lives of those he partners with by utilizing the extensive experience and interpersonal skills he has developed throughout his entrepreneurial career. He not only will provide high quality service, but will also grow a strong lifelong relationship with all those he works with to help secure financing.

    Jonathan M. Friend, CFA

    Director of Commercial Lending – New Hampshire

    Jon has been active in finance/investments since 1994.  He has broad Wall Street experience in portfolio management, alternative investments (hedge, private equity), and real estate.  An active venture capital investor, he and his business partner are invested in a licensed cannabis extraction lab in Maine and are responsible for cannabis/hemp and other commercial financing opportunities for Patriot Funding in New England.  Jonathan also holds an MBA in Corporate Finance.

    Chris Swenson

    Director of Commercial Lending – New Hampshire

    Chris is an investor and managing partner of a cannabis extraction lab located in Maine. He spent much of his career as a chief financial officer of various start-up companies and has over twenty years’ experience in the venture capital and private equity space, including deals in the U.K. and Japan with Fidelity Ventures. He has a deep background in investment banking and financial analysis of the telecommunication industry. Chris has strong deal experience with equity, venture capital A, B, and C equity rounds, bank financing, and through IPO. He is skilled in risk management, cost and revenue analysis, accounting system development, corporate insurance, and payroll/employee benefits. Chris co-lead efforts to establish a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) working with Fidelity Ventures and executed a $100MM investment in Tokyo. Chris holds an MBA from Babson College.

    Gabriela La Rage

    Commercial Mortgage and Marketing Specialist – Las Vegas, Nevada

    Gabby is an accomplished digital media and marketing professional possessing a wealth of experience driving standards, quality and efficiency within a range of management roles. Her expertise is in a wealth of digital marketing strategies which include content, social media, text/email blasts and print marketing. This is combined with a solid understanding of planning and implementing campaigns that result in maximum impact on the consumer through means such as SEO and PPC.

    Gheorghe Otel

    Commercial Loan Officer – Milwaukee, Wisconson

    Gheorghe Otel is a Commerical Loan Officer who works with small business owners to grow. He specializes in Multi-Family and Fix & Flip Funding. Gheorghe has been in the commerial lending industry for five years. He prides himself on creating sold, long lasting relationships with his customers. Gheorghe is a 2014 graduate of the Academy of Economic Studies.

    Kyle Szwajnos

    National Account Representative – Chicago, Illinois

    Kyle graduated in the 10% of his class in the Gifted Academy at Elgin High School. He is currently studying at Elgin Community College and plans to transfer to Loyola University to complete his bachelor’s degree in business. Kyle will then seek a Master’s in Economics and eventually become an Investment Banker.  In his spare time, Kyle does regular trading across the Stock Market, swinging the highs and lows of dividend paying stocks.

    Mario Mazzei

    National Account Representative – Chicago, Illinois

    Mario Mazzei is a recent graduate of Bartlett High School.  He was involved in business and leadership programs all four years of his high school career.  Mario’s passion is in Real Estate and Financing.  We are very excited to help Mario advance in his career.

    JP Marzano

    Commercial Lending Specialist – Chicago, Illinois

    JP Marzano has been in the lending industry for 15 years. He started as residential loan officer and continues to write loans for personal real estate. He has also been active in the commercial finance arena for over 5 years. JP has provided financing for small-to-medium size businesses and investors alike. His experience is mainly with lines of credit, term financing, and private equity lending for specialty and non-traditional scenarios.

    Outside Real Estate Services

    Sakira Jackson

    Multi-Family and Hotel Acquisitions – Chicago, Illinois

    Dr. Sakira Jackson has become a great addition to the Patriot Funding team, by providing market properties not easily found by investors across the nation. Dr. Jackson has developed a product for the off-market property industry. This allows the single home investor to the multi-million-dollar mutual funds acquire properties in real-time off-market and at the best price. She says just because it’s off-market doesn’t mean it isn’t available on-line. She saw a gap in the market and filled it with a virtual off market real estate investment product that specializes in providing properties to investors, rehabbers, mutual funds and individuals in real-time.