As January nears its end, some of us may have already fallen out of step with our New Year’s resolutions in the hustle and bustle of our daily obligations. But if there’s one thing we should try and hold on to, it’s making time to enjoy the activities that bring us the most joy. Hobbies enhance our behavior and create healthy outlets for us to use when we’re feeling stressed, unmotivated, or uninspired – they may even spark creativity. To celebrate the last day of National Hobby Month, we’re spotlighting a few Project staffers who make the most of their hobbies outside work, whether it’s drinking beer, flying planes upside down, or mountaineering. Here’s to doing more of what you love. Enjoy.


Carolyn Stiles, account executive, Partners + Napier

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 12.42.58 PM
Carolyn Stiles poses between two other Rochester Beer Gals.

“I am the founder of Rochester Beer Gals – a community for women who are interested in learning more about beer and connecting with each other. I used to work in the beer industry as a Cicerone certified beer server (Cicerone is similar to the Sommelier levels of certification but for beer). I noticed that there seemed to be an education gap among women customers and I wanted to help fill that gap in some way. Rochester Beer Gals’ main effort is to educate women about their beer offerings, locally and nationally, by throwing events that provide a unique experience, like Ales & Oms (yoga and beer), Women in Craft (a panel of women in the brewing industry discussing their experience),  and The Bar Stool Seminars (edu-tastings with a local beer expert – always seated at the bar). Throwing an event that’s a total hit, being featured by the local media, or just getting positive feedback from our members gives me such a high and strengthens the level of connection I feel to the Rochester community.”



Mark Mullen, vp of strategy, George P. Johnson

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 11.46.11 AM

“My hobby is flying aerobatics, which involves loops, spins, and rolls in a small airplane – intentionally.  I own a small biplane designed for aerobatic flight and I try to do it regularly to stay proficient. Safely flying requires a clear head and good spatial awareness, so by practicing my skills as a pilot, I learn how to stay level-headed when navigating different stressors in life and at work. Plus, looking at the earth upside down literally gives me a new sense of perspective and a fresh way of seeing the world, so almost any negative situation I encounter can be turned into a positive one – just roll inverted!”



David Dubois, senior art director, Pitch

Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 12.07.24 PM

“I’ve been mountaineering for two years now. Aside from the remarkable views, what keeps bringing me back is the feeling of looking at a mountain skyline, imagining myself standing on the peak, and doing whatever is humanly possible to bring myself there. At high altitudes, you have to focus on your breathing, the amount of energy you expel, and the ever-changing environment, which forces you to remain present in the moment. It’s really helped me stay mindful in other areas of my life, off the mountain.”

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 9.30.34 AM