Andrew Marin is the President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org), a public charity working to build bridges between the LGBT 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, and an MA in Urban Studies with concentrations in Social Change and Theology from Eastern University. Andrew is the author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), and its interactive six-session DVD Curriculum (2011). Since 2010 he has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement and theological aspects of reconciliation. Andrew has recently spoken before world leaders at the United Nations International Headquarters in both Geneva, Switzerland and New York City, as well as to members of the US Senate on Capitol Hill. 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. Andrew has been featured on the BBC World News, NPR, CBS, ABC, Salon, GLAAD, 700 Club, Dallas Morning News, Christian Post and is a regular guest on American’s most listened to Christian radio program, Faith & Reason, among others. The Marin Foundation’s I’m Sorry Campaign was recently named by BuzzFeed as #1 on the list of 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity. Andrew and his wife Brenda are currently living in St. Andrews, Scotland as Andrew pursues his PhD. in cultural anthropology. Andrew continues to blog at www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation.
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 for Tony Campolo’s Red Letter Christians website (www.redletterchristians.org), and has also written multiple articles featured on Patheos.com as well as Relevant Magazine (www.relevantmagazine.com). He has been featured as a special guest on KKLA radio on The Frank Pastore show and regularly travels across the country speaking at churches, LGBT gatherings and higher education institutions on behalf of The Marin Foundation.
Michael and his wife Katie live in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago and 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.
Melinda Guerra is the Administrative Assistant to Michael Kimpan 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 & 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 LGBT 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 graduated from Drake University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in both International Business and Marketing, with a minor in Sub-Saharan African Studies. Additionally, she has earned her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in International Business and a Master’s of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior with a concentration in Organizational Development from Benedictine University. Previously Brenda has been involved in government related economic development projects throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and the Manager of Business Operations for a U.S security firm dealing with both domestic and international clients. Additionally Brenda has been involved in various consulting projects for both for- and non-profit organizations. In her consulting work she believes every organization has a soul, and loves assisting organizations find theirs. She has a desire to see LGBTs and women lifted from the margins and recognized for their uniqueness and strengths. Brenda currently lives in St. Andrews, Scotland with her husband Andrew as Andrew pursues his PhD. in cultural anthropology; Brenda occasionally blogs at brendamarin.blogspot.com.
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 LGBT communities, especially between parents and their children. She is conducting our Parent Resource Initiative, a research project studying Christian parents with LGBT 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 LGBT homeless youth).
Jason Bilbrey is the Director of Pastoral Care at The Marin Foundation. He studied for his M.A. in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary before moving 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; he volunteers regularly at his Bronzeville-area church. 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 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. Jimmy obsessively tweets at @jcorn819, and you can read his blog at jcornfoot.blogspot.com.