Andrew Marin is the President and Founder of The Marin Foundation. He has a BA in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago, an MA in Urban Studies and Social Change from Eastern University, and is currently earning his PhD from St. Mary’s College at the University of St. Andrews in Constructive Theology and Ethics. His research centers on the theology and praxis of social reconciliation between victims and their perpetrators. Andrew is the author of the award winning and bestselling book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive six-session DVD Curriculum (2011), and the ebook Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility Can Save the Public Square (2013).
Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. He regularly lectures and facilitates trainings around the world, and his speech Homophobia and Bridging from within the Evangelical Church, given on Capitol Hill the night before the Inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009, is archived in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. For twelve years Andrew lived in the LGBTQ Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, where The Marin Foundation headquarters are still located, and he is now based in St. Andrews, Scotland researching and teaching. Andrew is married to Brenda, who also works with The Marin Foundation.
Michael Kimpan serves as the Executive Director of The Marin Foundation. Michael received a BA in Youth Ministry and Biblical Theology from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL and continued his seminary education at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
After having a successful career at Starbucks Coffee Company in which he won the Howard Behar Manager of the Year Award for FY 2008, Michael (re)entered vocational ministry at Richwoods Christian Church in Peoria, IL until coming to join The Marin Foundation staff in January of 2013.
Michael is a prolific contributor to Tony Campolo’s Red Letter Christians website, and has also written multiple articles featured on Relevant Magazine and Patheos.com. Michael has been a featured guest on a number of radio programs and podcasts, and regularly travels across the country speaking at conferences, churches, LGBTQ gatherings and higher education institutions.
Michael lives in Boystown, the LGBTQ neighborhood of Chicago. He blogs regularly on building bridges between opposing world views, theology, faith and sexuality in an effort to inspire thoughtful conversation and intentional movement toward reconciliation at his blog, The WayWard Follower at www.mjkimpan.com
Michael’s first book, Love Never Fails, will be released Winter 2015 with InterVarsity Press.
Melinda Guerra is the Administrative Assistant at The Marin Foundation. She graduated from Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute with a BA in Youth Ministry, and has spent the last several years as an executive assistant and office manager. Her work and volunteer experiences have included a public relations firm in Chicago’s Gold Coast, a camp and conference center in Michigan’s beautiful Saugatuck, an interdenominational missions agency based in Georgia’s Gainesville, and an assortment of churches in the Greater Chicagoland area.
Melinda enjoys hearing people’s stories and finding ways to support and empower the people around her. Having grown up in a church that championed racial diversity through the intentional (and often messy) work of reconciliation, she has long been drawn to bridge building and doing what she can to help foster productive conversation. When she’s not working, you can find Melinda sitting at a coffee shop or park bench, most likely watching people, making lists, and reading or thinking fondly about books.
Laura Statesir serves as the Director of Family and Youth at The Marin Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining our team Laura worked in various types of youth organizations including Diakon Youth Services, Young Life, and Costa Rica Outward Bound. Laura desires to see stereotypes broken and true reconciliation between Christian and LGBTQ communities, especially between parents and their children. She is conducting The Marin Foundation’s Parent Resource Initiative, a national research project studying Christian parents with LGBTQ children that is developing new resources to help parents through their child’s coming out. Laura shares these findings and advice for Christian parents, youth pastors, and LGBTQ individuals at conferences throughout the country.
Laura volunteers with The Night Ministry at the Crib, a shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth, and with Chicago Adventure Therapy, an organization that uses adventure activities to enrich the lives of underprivileged young people in the city. She also lived in Latin American for seven years and has a heart for the Latino community.
Jason Bilbrey serves as the Director of Education and Community Relations at The Marin Foundation. He has a M.A. in Theology from Fuller Seminary and moved to Chicago in 2011 with his wife and daughter. They live in the beautiful Roger’s Park neighborhood on Chicago’s North side.
Jason began engaging with the LGBTQ community after his wife came out to him as bisexual in Dec. 2011 (you can read more about that story here). This experience, and the subsequent journey of coming out together to family and church friends, led Jason to a deeper realization of the stigma and social cost levied against the LGBTQ community. He blogs about this and other challenges facing faith communities today at jasonbilbrey.com.
Brenda Marin is a Human Resources Consultant to The Marin Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in both International Business and Marketing, with a minor in Sub-Saharan African Studies, from Drake University. She also has two Master’s degrees from Benedictine University: an MBA with a concentration in International Business and a Master’s of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior with a concentration in Organizational Development. Brenda has worked on behalf of the U.S. government leading economic development projects throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and was the Director of Business Operations for a U.S. security firm dealing with both domestic and international clients.
Brenda regularly consults on projects with for- and non-profit organizations, believing that every organization has a soul. She loves assisting organizations to find theirs and then watch them thrive. Brenda also has a strong desire to see LGBTQs and women lifted from the margins to be recognized for their uniqueness and strengths. Brenda currently lives in St. Andrews, Scotland with her husband Andrew.