Meet The Staff

Connie Whittaker, Bead&Button magazine

Connie Whittaker is the Associate Editor of Bead&Button magazine. Her greatest joy is designing with beads: taking an assortment odd shapes and colors and playing around with them until she comes up with something that she’s proud to wear. Sometimes the designs come easily and sometimes not, but her background in illustration helps her to write and create patterns with ease. In her spare time, she also enjoys teaching beading, and is involved with the beading community as a member of the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee. She has also tried her hand at drawing, painting, cross stitch, and quilting. Read more

Diane Jolie, 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. 

Lora Groszkiewicz

Lora Groszkiewicz is the Editorial Assistant for Bead&Button magazine. Her first time trying a craft was at the age of seven when her Grandma taught her to knit. Funny, Grandma couldn't read a pattern, so Lora learned to just follow along! After she got the hang of knitting, crochet came next, and then macrame (which she learned from books), and as a pre-teen she would sometimes trade babysitting services for sewing lessons. Her eyes were opened to beading in 2000 when she joined the Bead&Button staff, and now she’s an expert who keeps us all super organized! In her free time, she likes to vacation in either Las Vegas or Mexico with her handsome husband Dale.


Lisa Bergman

“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.