For over a decade, Jeremy has served families who’ve been terrorized by war in Iraq and Syria. Jeremy and his wife Jessica founded Preemptive Love Coalition after moving to Iraq in the middle of the war. A sought-after speaker, Jeremy has appeared on CNN, BBC, NBC, and other news outlets. He’s the author of the book Preemptive Love and is currently working on his second book, Love Anyway. Jeremy lives in Iraq with his wife Jessica and their two children.
Jessica founded Preemptive Love Coalition with her husband Jeremy in 2007. She has long believed we should do more than just help refugees survive; we should empower them to reclaim their future. Today, Jessica leads our refugee empowerment program. In 2016, she spearheaded the launch of Preemptive Love’s Sisterhood Collective, bringing refugee-made soap, candles, and more to North America—and putting thousands of dollars into the hands of Iraq and Syrian women.
JR serves as Preemptive Love Coalition’s Vice President, providing operational leadership and strategic plan implementation for the organization. JR comes to Preemptive Love Coalition following an 11 year tenure with AT&T in sales and sales leadership for retail and small business channels. JR has been a part of Preemptive Love Coalition from the beginning; embarking with Jeremy on the very first trip into Iraq which forever changed the trajectory of his life. He served on the Board of Directors from 2011 until leaving the board to join the team full time in 2015. When JR is not waging peace around the world with Preemptive Love, he can be found spending time with his wife and two kids, making/recording/mixing music, and occasionally playing a round of golf.
Jon joined our team as the Vice President of Finance and HR after working for Preemptive Love in an advisory role for several months. He brings a wealth of accounting and leadership experience, having served at a Big 4 accounting firm and as the director of finance for a nonprofit organization. Jon and his family lived and worked in Tanzania for two years, and they have a continuing passion for serving others in their community and around the world. In his free time, Jon can be found hanging out with his wife and two daughters and coaching youth soccer.
After doing a two-week assignment for us, Ben just refused to leave. So we made him our communications director. Ben loves telling stories that cut through the narrative of fear and violence—stories that prove the world can be remade. He still doesn’t believe he gets to do this every day. Ben is also a husband, a dad, an occasional children’s book author, and an amateur brewer.
Skip has spent the last 15 years crafting digital media strategies and building glorious websites…including this one. He’s also part of the band Roman Candle, which has three studio albums to its name and has toured across the US and Europe. He and his wife/bandmate Timshel and their five children live in Nashville. And because they apparently don’t have enough to do, they also host the “Drinks With” interview series for Paste Magazine, featuring musicians, writers, and comedians like Dolly Parton, David Sedaris, Mumford & Sons, and Arctic Monkeys.
Matt is a firm believer in the power of stories and their ability to remake the world. After seeing first-hand how the Preemptive Love team goes beyond theorizing in their love for people, he and his wife decided to move to Iraq full-time to help share these stories. As the leader of our field communication efforts, he puts his love for the written word and photography to use providing on-site reporting for our programming happening in places of conflict around the world.
Shannon came to Preemptive Love Coalition with 20 years of nonprofit and fundraising experience. As part of a family that traveled the world, she was a third culture kid running the streets of Kabul, Islamabad, Nairobi. When you’re standing in a crowd eating curry and chapati, cultural barriers and faith differences fall away.
Shannon is passionate about creating peace through connecting communities across all lines and engaging them in tangible acts of love. On any given day of video conferencing, you’ll see the joyful madness of Shannon’s life, rich with kids and dogs and always with The Essential Rumi within arm’s reach.
As an Iraqi boy growing up under Saddam’s regime, Ihsan only had access to a couple of TV channels, most of which just aired regime propaganda. But some evenings, one channel aired movies like Star Wars and Star Trek—little Ihsan was transfixed. Being moved by some of these movies, he knew what he wanted to do with his life. After the regime fell, Ihsan immediately bought a computer and began learning anything he could about multimedia. Today, Ihsan works as our Program Documentarian, working in the field with our program team to document our programs through interviews, photographs, video and anything that will help communicate the stories of the people we serve and the work we’re accomplishing. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, playing video games, watching movies, and and he’s pretty sure he’d survive the zombie apocalypse longer than you.
Dane’s passion for our volunteers, donors, fundraisers, and online community makes getting out of bed each morning a joy. He is a midwesterner through and through, he believes any problem can be solved with good conversation around a bonfire and a strong cup of coffee. He is excited at the daily opportunity that his role has in bringing peace to conflict, encouraging others (and himself) to love anyway, and helping our donors remake the world around them.
Erin first came to Iraq to work with children on the margins, teaching them photography as a form of personal development. Follow Erin around Iraq today, and she knows young people wherever she goes—many still call her “teacher!” Today, Erin’s love for children and families is as strong as ever as she documents your impact in Iraq, Libya, and beyond by telling stories of hope and healing. Erin is also a savvy exhibit designer and installation maven, a student and teacher, a trained carpenter, vegetarian, feminist, and is a perpetual outlier, presumably because that’s where the marginalized live.
After a decade of marketing, writing, and photography as an entrepreneur, Courtney now uses her experiences and skills to love anyway and challenge others to do the same. She is passionate about empowering people to make a positive impact however they can, wherever they are, and is audacious enough to believe that we actually can change the world. When she gets down off her soapbox, you will find her either studying or adventuring around the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two little girls.
Kristin lost her heart to Preemptive Love Coalition one night as she sobbed over a video of Baby Noor. Kristin’s daughter had also received lifesaving open-heart surgery and Noor’s video inspired her to love first by giving other families this same gift of life. Before joining PLC, Kristin wrote grants, compiled reports and synthesized data to bring healing to refugees, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. When not waging peace with her writing, Kristin enjoys the BBC’s Masterpiece, pilates, roasting coffee with her husband, and photographing their three rambunctious girls.
Wendy joined Preemptive Love Coalition with 17 years of experience in housing and community development. With her passion for storytelling, she enjoys writing about the lives of people in the conflict zones we serve, and helping the rest of the world see not only their urgent needs, but also their amazing beauty and significance to our global family.
For Jessica, there is an unrivaled beauty in forming community and being resolved to simply show up for one another. Having stood in the gap for the broken and helped empower people in Haiti, Ukraine, her local rescue mission, and several places in between, her heart has connected seamlessly with the mission of Preemptive Love Coalition: to love anyway. Jessica and her husband live in Nashville and love to hike, explore waterfalls, and travel to new cities. Good music, hummus, quality time, and collecting experiences are among her favorites.
Jon serves as the Community Insights Manager. After following PLC from the beginning, his heart grew to love PLC’s mission to the point that he wanted to do more to help. Prior to PLC, he worked at Evernote as Sales and Support Analyst providing insight into customer interactions as well as being a Zendesk administrator. When not working, he loves spending time with his wife, daughter, and son playing in their yard. He loves technology and using it to help improve the world around him.
In the early days, we either Googled our way to design work or outsourced it. Then Grant came along and took almost all of it off our plates! As our go-to visual artist, Grant loves design, illustration, and all things creative, and he is thrilled to put those passions to work to serve people on the margins. When he finds slivers of free time, Grant also enjoys drawing, board games, and French-pressed coffee.
After college, Scott started working as an auditor for an accounting firm. With a strong interest in microfinance and poverty alleviation, he was on the lookout for a nonprofit doing life-changing work when he came across PLC. He was immediately hooked on the mission and the vision through conversations with Jon and JR, and was pumped to get an opportunity to use accounting for a purpose.
Outside of work, Scott loves playing all sports, especially tennis and golf. He jumps at the opportunity to go on a cool hike, adventure, or simply go paddle boarding on the river with his wife.
With a collective 10 years experience teaching around the world in places like China, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Molly has a soft spot for kids. After meeting the Preemptive Love team in Iraq, she jumped in to help and has become our resident life-organizer, keeping appointments and calendars up-to-speed. Outside the office, Molly enjoys learning new phrases in Kurdish, hiking and getting out of town, and those incredible chocolate mints from Trader Joe’s.
Inas spent years serving her community as a volunteer before coming to work for Preemptive Love. In her hometown of Baghdad she helped women impacted by violence, and later helped families displaced by the war with ISIS. Along the way, she earned a degree in IT and Business Administration.
As part of our Programs team, Inas brings the heart to care about people first and foremost, the brains to make programs function like clockwork, and the life experience–growing up amidst the bombs of Baghdad–to understand what the people we serve are experiencing.
When she isn’t coaching new business owners, finagling access permissions, or translating the heart-rending stories of those we serve, you might find Inas dancing in her living room with her mother and niece.
Stephanie came to Preemptive Love first as a donor and passionate believer in unmaking violence. She has been editing and writing in academia and for NGOs for over 15 years. She is thrilled to join Preemptive Love and use her nerd powers to wage peace through spreadsheets, databases, and the written word. When she is not delving into data, she can be found adventuring with her husband and their 3 school-aged boys.
Christine brings her decades of project management experience to the job of Media Database Manager, where she ensures that our thousands of photos are tagged and get to the people who need them. Seeing people’s faces and the conditions in which they live as she immerses herself in the pictures has motivated her to give more time, energy, and resources to bring encouragement and hope to those around her. She and her family have lived in Virginia and Chicago and have been in Iraq for the last eight years. Her husband teaches at the American University of Iraq, and Christine has enjoyed educating their son and teaching English while getting immersed in Iraqi Kurdish culture.
Kendall’s passion for justice, peacemaking, and the written word, along with her experience in product development and customer service, found a perfect home in her role with Preemptive Love Coalition. Kendall finds her true calling in raising her voice for the good of those in the margins and forgotten places. While not working, Kendall and her husband enjoy reading fantasy books, trying new foods, drinking good wine, and experiencing the beautiful sights and sounds of Fayetteville, Arkansas with their two dogs.
Diana is no stranger to pain and the reality that our world desperately needs to be remade. As a former Iraq War Army Combat Medic and a sexual assault nurse examiner, Diana has committed her life to staring pain in the face and choosing to love anyway, to lean in, and to remake the world around her. Diana is also an aspiring author of the book “Why War Wrecked me for Peace,” and is usually the one laughing when everyone else is trying not to.
Jessica comes to Preemptive Love Coalition after nearly a decade in journalism and with several years’ experience in fundraising. With a life-long passion for social justice and peacemaking in the world, she does her best to live out the principles of love and mercy on her own frontlines and believes compassion should be extended to all life. Stories of pain transforming into redemption, unlikely reconciliation, and real life applications of “enemy” love are quick to make her cry. The work she gets to do daily with Preemptive Love is what she believes her heart has been preparing her for most of her life.
Jessica loves spending time with her husband, three sons, and gaggle of pets (cats, chickens and whatever other random animal “needed a home” that week). In her alone time, you can generally find her exploring the lovely little city of St. Petersburg, Florida, in the kitchen – cooking up a new vegetarian dish, singing, learning to play the cello, or curled up with a good book.
Michel Tannous had a nice job. He wore a tie and made good money. But a few years ago, Michel just had enough. He put on his tie, inched through traffic, arrived at the bank, and he quit. He got out of the rat race and retreated to his ranch for a little peace. This is when we met him. Today, Michel lives in a sort of race as our Syria Country Representative, traveling and working throughout Syria to make sure families get what they need to hold on and hold out, surviving and thriving against all odds. When he isn’t overseeing your lifesaving impact across Syria, Michel enjoys his new baby, hiking, gardening, skiing, and taking care of his animals.
With a background in journalism and design, Erica was drawn to Preemptive Love’s dedication to tell overlooked stories of resilience and courage. She loves to imagine creative ways to communicate stories and is often pointing out how restaurant menus could work better. When she’s not designing, she’s most likely traveling or discovering new music where she lives in Nashville.