Freedom First REIA, Ltd.


Freedom First REIA, LTD

Our Leadership Team

Leon Griggs

Leon has been our President known for his passion and sharing.  He has built an enduring team of leaders while creating a most unique organization attracting highly ethical real estate investors.  He's also known for his barbecue skills


Joe McGuire
Vice President

Joe is a man of few words.  He is a listener and thinker. When Joe speaks people listen. They may not agree...  Wise investors listen and learn.

Jacob Thorp

Jacob is responsible for the financial structuring and management of company assets through the implementation of effective systems and metrics. His experience as an IT professional has led to being well versed in building and maintaining large databases and systems. He excels at resolving challenges with innovative systematic solutions and process improvements that produce increased efficiency, and client satisfaction.

Jacob serves as the admin for Under One Roof NY, a landlord coalition involved with NYS political advocacy, and is a member of the Rochester Housing Coalition, a local political advocacy organization.

Jake currently owns rental property in the Rochester area and brings that experience to the company as well. Jacob is a Rochester native and currently serves in the Air National Guard after deploying to Ukraine for a year. He currently lives in Penfield, NY.


Marlene Schofield

Marlene is responsible for Freedom First's financial assets. She has more than 11 years of banking experience. Marlene is also an investor in the Rochester real estate market. She is currently operating corporate extended in the city and suburbs.


Meet the Sub-Group Leaders


Joe LaBarbera

After Joe LaBarbera graduated from high school in Rochester, NY and attended some college, he began working in construction and landscaping.   Making minimum wage barely sustained him.  Fed up with being broke and looking at a bleak, unprosperous future, he got involved in real estate looking for financial freedom and security.
He has been a full time real estate investor since 2010.  Joe does between 80 and 100 deals per year which involve wholesaling and commercial and residential flipping.  He currently owns 42 units and is still growing his business.   
Joe is very excited about the unlimited possibilities that real estate gives him. He enjoys networking, meeting new people, and collaborating with others to put deals together.
Joe has learned that patience, persistence, and self development is key to this business. It takes work. 
Joe is passionate about (some might say obsessed with) real estate.  It has allowed him to work with and mentor others who also share his passion and eagerness to build their dreams. 
With that in mind, Joe's presentation is going to show anyone looking to get into real estate with little to no money that wholesaling is a great way to start. It is also designed for people who are already seasoned investors and want to know how to acquire properties that are off market and below market value. 'Joe will go over starting your business, marketing, looking at properties, negotiating, writing up purchase offers and the assignment sheets, as well as locating buyers.  Start your own business in real estate using the information Joe shares.


Patrick Gallagher

Patrick Gallagher was a Monroe County Sheriff Deputy for 20 years before retiring to focus full-time on Gallagher Property Management. While working full-time as a Deputy, he started investing in real estate and fell in love with it. Throughout years of networking, he was approached by other investors to manage their properties, he agreed but never thought he would make a business out of it.  500 Properties later, they have a company that employs over a dozen people. GPM focuses on transparency, honesty, and integrity allowing them to maintain a successful relationship with owners as well as residents. Pat runs the Landlord Support Group that meets the second Thursday morning of each month, where he discusses all things involved in buying a property, providing a quality home, picking the right resident, and everything in between. 


Beth Short

Beth Short began in the Real Estate world in 2013 when she joined Gallagher Property Management. She previously came from a healthcare background thus she had to learn everything from the ground up. Beth feels this is the best way to learn about real estate investing; first-hand experience. When she first joined GPM, they ran 75 properties, today they manage over 500, with over 160 owners from all over the world. Most of their properties are in the heart of Rochester, many being low-income housing. Beth Co-chairs the Landlord Support Group that meets the 4th Thursday of each month with Karl Weekes where we discuss any and all things about landlording.


Karl Weekes

Karl Weekes, a 38 + year veteran Real Estate Investor and Property Management Coach /Consultant in the local Rochester area.  Also, Owner of MelKar Enterprises LLC, specializing in small property management, maintenance and renovations.
After having been involved with hundreds of RE transactions and thousands of rental contracts he has a passion to bring this experience to others so that they can learn and build wealth with real estate without having to “learn the hard way”.  Pre-purchase, Portfolio building and Exit Strategies consulting is now part of the Property Management Services provided.
Since 2005, Real estate investing went Global and as a result hundreds of foreign investors came into town thinking they can make a million. Unfortunately, most of them learned the hard way by not “learning the ropes “ahead of time – and eventually crashed and burned…. Karl, by referrals only, has a mission to intervene those portfolios on their way to the crash and burn pile. With an aggressive turnaround plan – these owners are “rescued” and their investments are brought back to full potential. Now called a “Portfolio Intervention Specialist”…

  • Owner/Operator of MelKar Enterprises LLC, specializing in small property management, maintenance, renovations and consulting.
  • Cofounder, former president and current member of the New York State Coalition of Property Owners and Businesses, Inc 
  • Co-founder and current member of the FFREIA club
  • Former member of local chapter of IREM – Institute of Real Estate Management
  • Past member of the Sect 8/RHA advisory board
  • Past member of the (former) MCDSS committee for reform.
  • Former Licensed Real Estate Agent
  • A 25 yr subscriber and past contributor to the #1 DIY national newsletter and now website “Mr Landlord” ( and a designated CPL (certified professional Landlord) through same organization.
  • Master educator for the “School of Hard Knocks”
  • Creator of the TOIE and TEA concepts; utilized by many up and coming DIY RE investors


Contact Us

Freedom First REIA, LTD

1900 Empire Blvd Suite 197
Webster, NY 14580
(585) 236-4205

Proud Chapter of National REIA

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Disclaimer  (Freedom First REIA, LTD) does not give legal, tax, economic, or investment advice. Freedom First REIA disclaims all liability for the action or inaction taken or not taken as a result of communications from or to its members, officers, directors, employees and contractors. Each person should consult their own counsel, accountant and other advisors as to legal, tax, economic, investment, and related matters concerning Real Estate and other investments.   

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