About the Johns Island Community Association

Build a community with your neighbors.

The Johns Island Community Association is led by Johns Island residents determined to build a great future for our families and neighbors. Our mission is to protect the island we love by encouraging responsible growth and preservation.
We believe the future of Johns Island depends on protecting rural spaces while creating a vibrant town we can all use.
Stephen Harris


Stephen Harris served as a Public Defender with the Charleston County Public Defender’s Office in Charleston, SC until 2008 when he started his own law practice. Mr. Harris primarily handles DUI and criminal defense cases in Charleston County, Berkeley County, Dorchester County, and Beaufort County. 

Mr. Harris is a member of the South Carolina Bar, Charleston Bar, Federal Bar and a practicing member of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington DC. Mr. Harris is currently an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law, where he teaches Criminal Trial Practice. He attended the National Criminal Defense College in 2007 and received training in advanced cross-examination as well as DUI training.

He has lived on Johns Island since 2004.

Brad DeVos

Vice Chair
Development Committee Chair

Since moving to the Charleston area in 1999, Brad DeVos has worked for two engineering firms and owned a consulting company. As an electrical designer and sustainability consultant he was involved in over 250 construction projects throughout the Southeast.

In 2009, Brad turned his attention to economics, business, and philanthropy. He is the President and & CEO of the Bastiat Society, and international non-profit focused on teaching economics to the business community.

He earned a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Urban Studies from the College of Charleston, as well as an associates degree in Computer Aided Design and Drafting from the ITT Technical Institute.  

Brad is a member of the historic Mont Pelerin Society, a L.E.E.D. Accredited Professional, a graduate of the Atlas Leadership Academy's Think-Tank MBA program, a member of the Foundation for Economic Education's Faculty Network, and is an appointed member of the South Carolina Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

He moved to Johns Island in 2014 with his wife, daughter, and dog.

Nancy Bright


Nancy Bright has called Johns Island home since she was 10 years old. She lives on the island with her husband and two children.

Nancy is a project manager with 16 years of experience in communications, operations, and leadership. In addition to project management, she has experience in business including logistics, procurement, finance, information technology, and policy development.

Nancy has worked with a diverse range of stakeholders on projects and enjoys solving problems. She holds two master’s degrees from The Citadel and a bachelor’s degree from College of Charleston. In addition, she is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Class of 2013.

Nancy is a member of the Project Management Institute, an international non-profit association for the project, program and portfolio management profession. She earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) credential in 2013.

Elizabeth Paul


Elizabeth P. Paul originally came to the coast to attend law school in 2005, and like many before her, she conveniently forgot to leave. Following graduation she practiced law briefly and then decided to pursue a career in fundraising--first in politics and then in the non-profit sector. Currently, Elizabeth serves as the Director of Development for Sea Island Habitat for Humanity where she raises resources and revenue to build communities and improve lives on Johns, James and Wadmalaw Islands.

Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and Advertising loves to use her powers of persuasion to help a variety of causes. In addition to serving as Treasurer and a voice for the Johns Island Community Association, she currently holds a seat on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, participates in committees for both the Island School and the Young Professionals Non-Profit Network, serves on the ARB for the Villages of St. Johns Woods, and presents annually at the Jefferson Awards. In June of 2016, the Charleston Regional Business Journal recognized Elizabeth as one of the area's Forty Under 40 honorees.

As a resident of Johns Island for over a decade, Elizabeth is impassioned by all things affecting the quality of life in our rural, island community. As the mother of two young boys, Coover (4) and Barger (1), she wants to ensure that opportunity, convenience and a quality education exist for her growing family.

Michelle Faust

Education Committee Chair

In 2000, Michelle moved to the Charleston working in program management for an automotive manufacturing company.  In 2011, she shifted her career to Quality Management Systems and is focused on implementing and improving processes and procedures in core business areas.

She is currently employed as a Quality Manager for a chemical company where she is responsible for the maintenance of the Quality System and driving continual improvement.  

Michelle is a member of the American Society for Quality and has Six Sigma Green Belt certification.   

Michelle moved to Johns Island in 2012.  She enjoys the Johns Island community with her husband and son.

Chad Hayes

Preservation Committee Chair

Chad Hayes is a native South Carolinian, born and raised in Dillon, SC. He has been a resident of Johns Island since 2003. Much of his professional career has been spent educating residents and tourist alike on the spectacular ecology and biodiversity of the island and its surrounding pristine salt marshes.

He has served as a fisheries biologist for the SCDNR, Environmental Consultant, Habitat manager for several private plantations/communities, Co-Founder of the Johns Island Conservancy, and a High School teacher for several years. His knowledge and understanding of the fragility of the ecosystems of his island home led to a career based in conservation education and outreach. He is a devoted resident of Johns Island and believes a symbiosis is obtainable between the ecology of the island and the growing urban development. This symbiosis will be obtained through smart, well-planned infrastructure and development practices.

He received his Bachelors degree in Biology from Presbyterian College, with and emphasis in Wildlife Biology and Habitat Management. He later completed his Masters in Biology from The Citadel, and worked with a research team to discover the source and effect of micro-plastics on the marine environment in the low country.

Amie Yam-Babinchak

Amie moved to the Charleston area in 2004 and has resided on Johns Island since 2014 with her husband and two sons.

She has been employed by the South Carolina Aquarium since 2011 where she is the Senior Manager of Advancement Communications and Giving Programs. Amie’s career has primarily been focused on project/program management and raising funds to support nonprofit work. Additionally, she specializes in creating efficient business operations and managing highly effective teams.

Amie earned a B.S. in Water Resource Management and International Development from the University of Minnesota and has been a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2006.

Abby Downing

Abby is a born & bred Tar Heel, but moved to Charleston in 2013 after several big city stops along the East Coast.

She earned her B.A. in Journalism (advertising) from the University of North Carolina in 2003, and a certificate in Art Direction and Design from the Portfolio Center (Atlanta, GA) in 2005.

She has since worked as a Designer and Creative Director with Condé Nast, Gensler and College of Charleston, among others.

She currently serves as the Creative Director for ZinePak, a superfan-centric agency based in NYC, and maintains a steady freelance & consulting business.

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