Meet The Staff

Diane M. Bacha, Editorial Director, Kalmbach Media

I have a lifelong interest in the visual arts, writing, and jewelry — so Bead&Button magazine is a natural fit for me. As Editorial Director, I oversee a talented staff of editors who make magic happen with each new issue of the magazine, each new email newsletter, and each website update. I also oversee Kalmbach’s line of jewelry books and work closely with the people who organize the annual Bead&Button Show.

I got my start working for regional newspapers in New York and Wisconsin, then made my way to regional magazines. Over the years I’ve filled a wide variety of roles ranging from city editor to arts editor to editing a weekly tabloid for young people. I’ve been with Kalmbach since 2012.

I’m a native of New Jersey but a longtime Midwesterner who currently lives in Milwaukee with my partner John and our two cats, Daisy and Georgie. While I occasionally pine for the Jersey Shore, I’m thankful every day for my commute along a beautiful stretch of Lake Michigan.

Connie Whittaker, Senior Technical Editor, Bead&Button magazine

I have been beading and teaching for more than 11 years and I’m still just as obsessed with it as I was when I began. Designing is something I enjoy whenever I have a chance, whether it’s for teaching or just for fun. With my background in illustration, writing instructions lets me combine my love of beading and illustrating into one. I also love working with all the talented designers that are in Bead&Button magazine and have formed many new friendships because of it. It’s such an honor to work every day with so many people who have the same passion for beads as I do.

When not at work, my husband and I enjoy spending time with our daughter when she is home from college, or visiting with my mom on weekends. Because I’m a cat person without a cat right now, I have fun spoiling my mom’s cat and dogs when I visit her.

Diane Jolie, Senior Associate Editor, Bead&Button magazine

I started my beading obsession in 2003. At the time I was working at Kalmbach Publishing for Birders’ World magazine, which was a birdwatching magazine. It was my second bird-related magazine, having worked for Ducks Unlimited in Memphis, TN, prior to that. After ten years of bird-related editing, I was ready for a change. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on those colorful beads. I worked at Bead&Button magazine for two years then left to head Metroparent magazine. After 15 years of editing magazines on birds, beads, and babies, I stepped down from publishing to raise my children. Now that I’m back to beading, my favorite technique remains bead weaving, since it is the most open-ended technique. 


When I’m not beading, I have my toes in the sand or fingers in spring-fed water, reaching for rocks. I’m a founding member of the North American Nature Photography Association and love to paint and sculpt with various mediums. I live with my husband and two children along with our Great Doberhuahua (Great Pyrenees-Doberman-Chihuahua mix), but pine for another basenji. 

Katie Salatto, Assistant Editor, Bead&Button magazine

I owe my creative spirit to my mom. She taught me how to knit, crochet, sew, draw, paint, and the list goes on. As if I didn’t already have enough creative passions to entertain myself with, my 2016 New Year’s Resolution was to learn a new skill – this is when I took up bead stringing and stitching. My love for stitching grew exponentially throughout the next few years, with my favorite stitches being peyote and right-angle weave. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. It is impossible to put into words how excited and proud I am to put my education and creativity to work at Bead&Button.


In my free time, I enjoy antiquing, taking walks with my Golden Retriever (with whom I am obsessed), and partaking in weekend Hygge evenings with my closest friends (Danish-inspired cozy nights in). I live with my husband and dog in our mid-century-modern decorated home.

Lora Groszkiewicz, Editorial Assistant, Bead&Button magazine

I joined Bead&Button in November of 2000. My job started at 25 hours a week but quickly increased as the magazine and the Bead&Button Show grew. I like to think of myself as the hub of the office, taking care of all the phone calls and e-mails we receive. I also log in all of the article proposals and send out contracts.


My favorite part of the job is handling BeadDreams. Seeing photos of pieces created by artists from all over the world is one thing, but I am in total awe when I actually get to see and touch the pieces in person

My first time trying a craft was at the age of seven when my Grandma taught me to knit. Grandma couldn't read a pattern, so I learned to just follow along! After I got the hang of knitting, crochet came next, and then macrame (which I learned from books), and as a pre-teen I would sometimes trade babysitting services for sewing lessons. In my free time, I love to travel to either Las Vegas or Mexico with my handsome husband.

Lisa Bergman, Senior Art Director, Kalmbach Media

“Wow! That is so cool!” This is usually my response when the Bead&Button editors give me the jewelry pieces for each issue. Occasionally it is followed by the comment “You could make that.” I'm mostly a stringer but the projects in Bead&Button definitely inspire me and I keep thinking that eventually I'll graduate from stringing to stitching.

I began my career here at Kalmbach working on titles other than Bead&Button, but as the years transpired, I got my chance. Nearly 10 years later, I’m still enjoying every issue that I get to design. Seeing and touching the beautiful pieces going into each magazine is the best part of the process for me. That, along with receiving the printed issue, which is always a little scary too. After designing magazines for 23 years, you’d think I wouldn’t be so anxious.

My hobby heart is in home decor. I like everything from redesigning an entire room to a simple weekend DIY project. And I love color. Color is tricky and color choices are subjective. But without color, the world would be an awfully boring place!

I also enjoy anything outdoors with my daughter, from camping to boating to baseball games and even snow and cold. Yes, I just said snow and cold. I grew up in Wisconsin and I’m still here. The change of seasons does a heart good.