Phyllis Hoffman DePiano
Chairman of the Board
A leading figure in the publishing industry, Phyllis Hoffman DePiano is the founder and chairman of the board of Hoffman Media. A native of Hoover, Alabama, and a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, she began her career as a Certified Public Accountant with a nationally known firm before founding, in 1983, a special-interest publication company now known as Hoffman Media. Phyllis is recognized industry-wide as a savvy businesswoman and talented entrepreneur. She serves as the creative engine of the company, which defines and celebrates the lifestyles of women through an ever-widening range of beautiful magazines, including TeaTime, Southern Lady, Victoria, and Taste of the South. In 2005, she partnered with restaurateur, author, and TV personality Paula Deen to create Cooking with Paula Deen, a lifestyle/cooking magazine that was the number one newsstand launch in its inaugural year. Since then, she founded The Cottage Journal in 2010 and Southern Home, Southern Cast Iron, Bake from Scratch, and Classic Sewing in 2015.
Brian Hart Hoffman
President/Chief Creative Officer
Editor-in-Chief, Bake from Scratch
Brian Hart Hoffman, president and chief creative officer of Hoffman Media, oversees the editorial planning and brand direction for all publications and books, as well as the public relations and special events divisions. Since joining Hoffman Media, Brian has been the driving force behind the launch of The Cottage Journal, Bake from Scratch, Southern Cast Iron, and Southern Home. He recently authored his first book, The Coupe, which celebrates craft cocktails and vintage collections. Prior to joining the company in 2007, Brian worked in the airline industry, which allowed him to live in six cities throughout the United States. He has visited all 50 states.
Editorial Director, The Cottage Journal
Cindy Cooper is described by Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, chairman of the board of Hoffman Media, as “one of the most creative people in publishing.” Cindy draws on her exceptional creative vision and more than 30 years of experience in the publishing business to develop compelling books and other products for Hoffman Media, as well as to guide and manage the magazine editors. Cindy also serves as editorial director of The Cottage Journal, a visually rich magazine that inspires readers with charming interiors and gardens, quaintly clever home ideas and projects, and keepsake recipes that capture the cottage lifestyle. An Alabama native, Cindy received her bachelor’s degree from Auburn University and joined Southern Progress Corporation as a magazine designer in 1979. During her subsequent career within Southern Progress and Oxmoor House, Inc., she led creative teams in the publication of various books and magazines, including Cooking Light, Southern Living, Weight Watchers, and Coastal Living. After joining Hoffman Media, Cindy directed the editorial team of Cooking with Paula Deen before overseeing the launch of The Cottage Journal. In her free time, Cindy loves spending time with her family, traveling, and creating beautiful home spaces.
Director of Editorial Operations
Brooke Bell is the director of editorial operations at Hoffman Media, where she directly oversees the editorial teams of Taste of the South, Louisiana Cookin’, Cooking with Paula Deen, and new launches Bake from Scratch and Southern Cast Iron. Brooke was previously the editor of Taste of the South, the editorial director of Louisiana Cookin’, and the food editor of Cooking with Paula Deen. She was instrumental in the 2015 launches of Southern Cast Iron and Bake from Scratch. Prior to joining Hoffman Media in 2007, Brooke attended culinary school, was a managing editor of three publications at Grand View Media Group, and a freelance food writer. Brooke graduated from Birmingham-Southern College. She is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and Les Dames d’Escoffier. When she’s not dreaming up new editorial projects and working with the talented creative teams at Hoffman Media, Brooke enjoys playing tennis, cooking for friends and family, perfecting the art of cocktail hour, and spending time with her husband and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
With the sure hand of a seasoned writer, Barbara Cockerham approaches her role as editor with the same appreciation for romantic living and feminine flair for which Victoria is renowned. Her love of the written word as well as her pursuit of elegance, sophistication, and style is evident in every issue of this women’s lifestyle magazine. A graduate of Mississippi University for Women, with a bachelor of science degree in nutrition and journalism, Barbara began her career at the Decatur (Alabama) Daily, where she covered lifestyle stories that took her from tea parties to weddings and high school plays to women’s club meetings. After a stint with daily newspapers, she cofounded Symbol of Excellence Publishers with Phyllis Hoffman DePiano when they launched the first publication devoted exclusively to counted thread cross-stitch. As the company grew, she served as executive editor of six women’s titles until the company was sold in 1996. Barbara joined the newly formed Hoffman Media in 1998 and became editor of Victoria in 2007, when the company revived the title, which had previously been published by Hearst. The pages of Victoria reflect Barbara’s passion for decorating, gardening, cooking, and entertaining as well as her favorite pastimes: needlework, literature, antiques, and travel.
Editorial Director, Cooking with Paula Deen
As editorial director of Cooking with Paula Deen, Alyce directs and collaborates with editors, test kitchen professionals, stylists, and photographers to package recipes, menus, and travel stories that bring the Paula Deen brand to life. Alyce joined Hoffman Media with over 25 years of marketing and publishing experience. Her previous positions included vice president of marketing for McWane Science Center in Birmingham, Alabama; editor and creative director for Lowe’s Creative Ideas magazine; art director for the launch of Coastal Living magazine; and marketing art director for Southern Living and Southern Accents magazines. Alyce received a bachelor of fine arts degree with an emphasis in commercial design from Auburn University and lives in Birmingham, Alabama. When she’s not juggling testing recipes, scouting props and locations for photography, and entertaining her family, you may find Alyce putting in a morning run with neighbors, volunteering as a community art partner for children with chronic illnesses, or visiting one of her siblings who live across the South.
Editorial Director, Classic Sewing
Editorial director Kathy McMakin brings more than 30 years of industry expertise with her to Classic Sewing. This Samford University graduate got her start at the Martha Pullen Company in 1981, when she began her needlework career. Since then, she has been instrumental in launching and developing heirloom sewing. Kathy is a master of the sewing arts and uses her creative talents to motivate and educate others as she fills the pages of this magazine with rich content. While attending the University of Alabama (prior to Samford), she met her husband, David McMakin, where she was a cheerleader and he was a football star. They now have two children and three grandchildren.
Editor, Taste of the South and Southern Cast Iron
Whether he’s running down to the Hoffman Media test kitchen to taste a fresh peach cobbler, picking out the perfect vintage cast-iron skillet for a photo shoot, or exploring the South’s best cities and restaurants, Josh Miller is always on the move, with Southern food on his mind. With a journalism degree from the University of Mississippi and a background in food, travel, and shelter magazine editorial and video production, Josh leads the Taste of the South and Southern Cast Iron teams as they work to honor the past and celebrate the future of authentic Southern cooking. A passionate home cook with treasured memories of long Sunday lunches at his grandmother’s house, Josh loves to make a mess in the kitchen—as long as he doesn’t have to do the dishes. His specialty? A Southern summer vegetable plate piled high with black-eyed peas, creamed corn, sliced fresh tomatoes (with a dollop of homemade mayonnaise), and of course, plenty of crunchy cornbread.
Editor, Louisiana Cookin’
Daniel Schumacher received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, where the student newspaper piqued his interest in publishing. In the decade that followed, he worked with award-winning teams at Food Arts, Gourmet, Cottage Living, and Birmingham Magazine, among others. He is currently editor of Louisiana Cookin’ magazine and finds endless enjoyment exploring the nuances of Cajun and Creole cuisine and traveling throughout Louisiana.
Lorna Reeves, editor of TeaTime Magazine, was introduced to the pleasures of afternoon tea at the venerable Williamsburg Inn during a needlearts seminar years ago, and it wasn’t long before tea drinking became an essential part her daily routine. Lorna graduated with honors from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and is fluent in Spanish, having spent her formative years in South America. She began her career at Hoffman Media in 1991. Her needlework skills and love for the art served her well during her tenure as editor of both Just CrossStitch and Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly magazines. Next, Lorna, an accomplished home cook, guided another Hoffman publication, Taste of the South, through its first five years before trading spatulas for teacups in her move to TeaTime in late 2009. (TeaTime received the award for Best Tea Publication at the 2014 and the 2015 World Tea Awards.) Lorna has been a panelist and a panel moderator at World Tea Expo and speaks at tea festivals throughout the United States and Canada, as well as at women’s ministry events. At present, she is pursuing Specialty Tea Institute Level 3 certification. Lorna and her husband are the parents of two college-age children and reside in Hoover, Alabama.
Kathleen Johnston Whaley
Editor, Southern Lady
Once a freelance writer for Southern Lady, Kathleen Johnston Whaley joined the staff full-time in 2007 and now serves as editor for the popular woman’s lifestyle title. A native of Huntsville, Alabama, and graduate of Auburn University, Kathleen got her start in Birmingham’s publishing world writing and traveling for Southern Living before moving on to a weekly newspaper, where she wrote about everything from politics to farmers’ quirky crops. Now she thrives in her do-it-all position at Southern Lady, often finding inspiration in her late grandmothers—both quintessential Southern ladies but in delightfully different ways. Though a writer at heart, Kathleen enjoys bringing her creative vision and editorial guidance to every phase of the magazine process, from collaborating with the test kitchen and directing photo shoots to traveling the South in search of great stories. In her spare time, Kathleen likes to try new recipes, vacation along the Florida Gulf Coast with her husband and son, and pretend to be good at gardening.
Editor, The Cottage Journal
Linda Wright is the editor of The Cottage Journal. In this multifaceted role, Linda plans, writes, styles—and even sweeps the floor on occasion. Prior to becoming editor of this magazine in 2011, Linda served as editor of Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate magazine and managing editor of Cooking with Paula Deen magazine. Before joining Hoffman Media in 2007, Linda spent almost 20 years with Southern Progress Corporation as a book editor and photo stylist for Oxmoor House publications and as a designer and product developer for the Southern Living at Home party business. Her past publishing experience also includes work as a freelance writer and stylist for a variety of national publications, including Better Homes and Garden books. Growing up the daughter of an Army officer, Linda lived in various cities across the United States and Europe. Her natural passion and talent for entertaining at home suit her well as she directs and manages this nationally distributed publication dedicated to making home a comfortable, cozy, and inviting place for family and friends to gather. Linda received her bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Montevallo in Alabama, where she also completed a master’s degree in education.