Andrew Marin is the President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org), a public charity working to build bridges between the LGBTQ community and conservatives through biblical and social education, scientific research, and diverse community gatherings. 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 Associate Director of The Marin Foundation (www.
After having a successful career at Starbucks Coffee Company in which he won the Manger 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. He is a regular guest on KKLA’s The Frank Sontag Show: The Intersection of Faith and Reason, and regularly travels across the country speaking at churches, LGBTQ gatherings, and higher education institutions.
Michael lives in the LGBTQ Boystown neighborhood of Chicago. He blogs regularly on building bridges between opposing worldviews, theology, faith, and sexuality in an effort to create 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.
Kevin Harris is the Director of Community Relations at The Marin Foundation. He is an alumni of Western Illinois University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. Kevin has also worked for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps, the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, and has spent time working as an advocacy counselor in interim housing facilities with individuals that happened to be homeless. Aside from pursuing his passion regarding reconciliation between groups, and to see Christians live out their faith in a way that dignifies the LGBTQ community and others on the margins, Kevin enjoys spending time in his garden and playing various sports with the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association.
Brenda Marin is the Director of Business Operations at 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. Previous to The Marin Foundation Brenda 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.
Laura Statesir is the Director of Family and Youth at The Marin Foundation. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2002. Prior to joining our team Laura has worked in various types of youth organizations including Diakon Youth Services, Young Life, and Costa Rica Outward Bound. She lived in Latin American for over seven years and has a heart for the Latino community. Laura desires to see stereotypes broken and true reconciliation between the 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 will develop new resources to help parents through their child’s coming out. She volunteers with Chicago Adventure Therapy and the Night Ministry, an organization that works with Chicago’s homeless population through their Health Outreach Bus and the Crib (shelter for LGBTQ homeless youth).
Jason Bilbrey is the Director of Pastoral Care at The Marin Foundation. He has an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and moved to Chicago in 2011 with his wife, Courtney, and daughter, Norah. They live in the heart of Chicago’s Boystown, one of the most established LGBTQ neighborhoods in the country, and are very invested in their community. Prior to working at The Marin Foundation, Jason was on the pastoral staff of a multi-ethnic church plant in Los Angeles. Jason’s desire is to see LGBTQ members, their families, and communities engage in authentic and constructive dialogue, ruled by love, and truly desiring to understand the other. You can find Jason and his daughter most Saturday mornings visiting the pigs in the farm section of the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Jimmy Cornfoot is The Marin Foundation’s Director of Community Relations for the city of Memphis, a place he has called home for a decade (but he proudly wears his boots to showcase his Texan heritage). Jimmy graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis with a B.A. in Music, and he completed a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. In addition to his work with The Marin Foundation, Jimmy serves as adjunct faculty in the Department of Music at Rhodes College, where he teaches Music of Latin America and works with various choral ensembles. You can typically find him sharing a good meal with friends while talking a little too loudly about his passions: bridge-building, theology, music, Texas, and Memphis. He also makes a mean salsa to go with your tortilla chips.