Our Board of Directors

Melissa Paulsen

Melissa Paulsen leads the Entrepreneurship and Education Division at the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development, reveling interdisciplinary approaches to development programs. She oversees federally-funded grants, fellowships, research opportunities, and collaborative institutes for international students, entrepreneurs, and business leaders. Paulsen’s current teaching in the Keough School for Global Affairs includes Social Entrepreneurship, Effective Technical Writing for Global Development, and multiple team-taught courses in the Integration Lab (i-Lab). Paulsen is a former assistant director of the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship in Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. She served as director of the Center’s social entrepreneurship program and was concurrent assistant professional faculty in the undergraduate and graduate programs. She taught courses in Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Enterprise Consulting, Microventure Consulting, and Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries.

William J. Schmul, Jr.

Bill Schmuhl has broad experience in general and financial management, law, public accounting, management consulting, college teaching and academic administration.  He currently teaches Financial Accounting as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College. His primary work experience has been as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Heywood Williams USA, Inc. and predecessor and successor companies (40 years) and as Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Notre Dame (10 years). In the for-profit sector, Schmuhl currently serves on the Board of Directors of Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc. In the not-for-profit sector, he serves on the the boards of Saint Mary’s College, the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana/Michiana, Discovery Charter School, Michiana Public Broadcasting Corporation (WNIT), the Stanley Clark School and JIFFI. 

Amber Werner

Amber Werner currently works for the City of South Bend in the Office of Sustainability as the Program Director for South Bend Green Corps. She has spent the last twelve years implementing and executing multiple initiatives focused on empowerment, stability, and sustainability. She currently serves as President of the Indiana Program Directors Association, Treasurer of the national poverty reduction nonprofit, Emerge Solutions, Secretary of the Partnership for the Education and Prevention of Substance Abuse (PEPSA), and Vice President of the Master of Public Affairs Student Association (MPASA). Amber is a proud life-long resident of South Bend and spends her free time exploring opportunities to better serve her community.

Jake Bebar

Jake Bebar is an Implementation Director at Epic Systems, one of the largest healthcare software firms in the world, where he specializes in change management and interoperability. Jake helped start JIFFI his freshman year at Notre Dame where he learned that income is only one of the many determinants of poverty. That fact led to his interest in healthcare delivery outside the traditional walls of a hospital or clinic, as well as his interest in social determinants of health, particularly for refugees, LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, and other vulnerable populations. Outside of work, you can usually find him playing piano, riding at SoulCyle, or trying to learn as much as possible about someone’s life over a cup of coffee.

Cristin Pacifico

Cristin is a Florida native who has made a home in the Midwest. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Cristin majored in Finance and International Peace Studies. Her passion for entrepreneurship drove her involvement in various start ups, including co-founding JIFFI and holding positions at Vennli, a South Bend based SaaS company, and Home Chef, a Chicago-based meal kit start up. Cristin has a breath of experience in Finance and Investments from Robert W. Baird, JPMorgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Equifund Partners and Irish Angels. Cristin founded the Joseph Academy Junior Board in Chicago, a school system that helps students with severe behavioral, emotional and learning disabilities, and mentors first generation students attending college through the Schuler Scholar program.

Jacob Stanton

Jacob is passionate about providing access to credit at reasonable terms to those who would traditionally be denied access to credit and boosting the level of financial literacy in the community. He co-founded JIFFI in February 2012 with a group of fellow Notre Dame students. Until May 2014, Jacob served as the Senior Vice President of Accounting & Operations for JIFFI and served as Treasurer of JIFFI’s Board of Directors. Since May 2014, Jacob has served as a member of JIFFI’s Board of Directors. Jacob serves as Acquisitions Manager at Capital Automotive Real Estate Services, Inc. (CARS), a $5 billion REIT focused on providing sale-leaseback capital to the automotive retail industry, where he oversees acquisitions throughout North America. Previously, Jacob assisted in the launch of the private equity affiliate of CARS. Before CARS, Jacob spent time in community banking, investment management, and corporate finance. In addition to his service to JIFFI, Jacob serves as a member of the Ireland Advisory Council for the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he received a B.B.A. with a double major in finance and economics and a certificate in international business from the Mendoza College of Business.

John Kang

John is a Senior from Irvine, CA majoring in IT Management with a concentration in Finance and Financial Accounting with a minor in Constitutional Studies. Outside of JIFFI, he is fairly involved in his dorm, Carroll Hall on top of playing piano in the Jazz Band and serving as a manager for the on-campus flower shop, Irish Gardens. For fun, John enjoys golfing, and smoking meats like brisket and ribs with his friends. As CEO of JIFFI, John also serves as a member of the Board of Directors.