Meet The Team

Meet The Team



Each and every member plays an integral part in our mission of looking over the wonderful island of Daufuskie. Without their helpful contributions none of our efforts would be possible. They make Daufuskie a better place to live and visit! They help to make sure this wonderful area is kept for generations to come!

Each and every member plays an integral part in our mission of looking over the wonderful island of Daufuskie. Without their helpful contributions none of our efforts would be possible. They make Daufuskie a better place to live and visit! They help to make sure this wonderful area is kept for generations to come!

Mike Loftus

Daufuskie Island Conservancy President

Lives in Bloody Point, Daufuskie Island, SC
Born: May 2, 1959
Family: Joanne &; 3 children, 3 grandchildren!

Schooling and Occupations:
• Manhattan College (civil engineering) 1981
• Foundation Contractor 30 years NYC area (Retired since 2017)
• Daufuskie Island Conservancy President since 2018
• South Carolina DNR Master Naturalist
• Palmetto Pro Birder

• Birding (North America life list currently at 350 species)
• Woodworking
• Tennis, Golf, etc.
• Searching for the perfect “Old Fashioned”

Jeff Garwood

Board Member

My wife and I fell in love with Daufuskie and decided to purchase property in 2000, and after a long career with many corporate moves, this is home for us.

While serving on the board of the Conservancy, I am focused on protecting our precious water resources and encouraging innovative strategies to address the threat of salt water intrusion. My interest stems from extensive work in the water industry including my role as President and CEO of GE Water & Process Technologies in addition to various ownership and involvement in other related businesses. I am a graduate of NC State University where I earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, and later completed an M.B.A. at the University of North Carolina.

Kelly Easterling

Board Member

I grew up in Columbia, SC and after graduating from the University of South Carolina, I lived in Western North Carolina for 10 years before I moved to Daufuskie full time in 2018 with my husband and two children. My family visited the island many times over the years prior to making the move, and we immediately fell in love with the island’s moss draped oaks, secluded beaches and abundant wildlife. I have a passion for preserving the natural beauty of the island, and I hope to facilitate that mission while serving on the board of the Daufuskie Island Conservancy. My children have grown up attending the elementary school on the island, and I am excited to work on planning educational programming for the island kids and adults who have a desire to learn more about our fragile coastal ecosystem.

My hobbies include birding, gardening, cooking, drawing, kayaking, and spending time outdoors enjoying our beautiful beaches.

Bernadette Putz

Board Member

Bernadette Putz is a lifelong learner who embraces the universal language of love & laughter. With 20+ years as a corporate team builder & experiential educator she has engaged with incredible people ages 3 -93.

Her good fortune has landed her on this slice of paradise named Daufuskie. She juggles the balance of relaxation & full throttle busy; from yoga, pickleball & boxing to oyster bed builds, event planning & beach sweeps. Life is a full contact sport-lets play!

Vanessa Bramlett

Board Member

I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and eventually moved to Oakland, California in 1992. I taught elementary school, became a reading specialist then literacy coach before becoming a principal for the last eight years of my career. During my tenure literacy was a guiding passion as well as involving students in understanding their natural world and their responsibility in being good stewards of our earth. As a first grade teacher, one of my favorite units I taught was a birding unit. My first graders engaged in research, observed and documented bird behaviors, made life sized replicas of their chosen birds and presented their research. The unit culminated in a field trip to a nearby marsh. It was a magical time for us all.

I first set foot on Daufuskie after I retired and was instantly, completely, wholeheartedly in love. We bought a cottage in Melrose, spent the pandemic living there and then sold our home in Oakland and moved here full time. I am consistently in awe of our slice of heaven and so appreciative to be a part of this community.

My role on this board involves helping to plan educational opportunities for our residents and visitors that will aid us all in preserving and understanding our unique and amazing ecosystem.

Susan Mason


Originally from beautiful Central New York, my husband Andy and I found Daufuskie Island while we were vacationing on Hilton Head Island. Starting in 1992 we started coming to the Island as members of the Melrose Club and in 2004 bought a house in Melrose where we reside full-time. Obviously, we found the environment and people of Daufuskie a great fit for our lifestyle and love of nature.

Though a teacher/professor/consultant for many years, now I
volunteer at the Daufuskie Island Historic Foundation Museum, serve on the Melrose Property Owners Architectural Review Board, and volunteer with the Daufuskie Island Community Events (DICE) Group. For me, being Secretary of the Conservancy is about giving a small amount of time to support a good and necessary part of our community and coastal environment.

Carl Walter


I was born and raised in Ohio, but spent every summer with my grandmother in central Florida, where my mother grew up. During the many adventures with my two brothers I first experienced the South with its abundance of natural beauty and wildlife.

My wife and I bought our property on Daufuskie Island shortly after our first visit in 1999. The peaceful calm, incredible views and natural beauty made our decision easy.

We became residents after the completion of our home in 2012, built on our original lot. Since then, I have been active in the community, served on various committees and boards, and built a boat at The Daufuskie Wine and Woodworks. That is where I got to know Mike Loftus, and in 2020 he asked me to join the Conservancy as Treasurer. I am enjoying my time with this terrific organization.

Get Involved

The Conservancy’s “Adopt-a-Road” program was established in 2009 to tackle the issue of litter on Daufuskie.  Willing residents “adopt” roads on the island in a promise to keep them free of litter.  A monthy clean-up day is established, but most volunteers casually pick up trash as they see it day-to-day.  Many of the Adopt-a-Road volunteers are also involved in two beach sweeps annually.

– Find out more about our “Adopt-a-Road” program and other ways to help –