RYP Interviews Emily Hessney Lynch of I Heart ROC!

In addition to her day job as the Digital Marketing and Communications Manager at High Tech Rochester, Emily Hessney Lynch is the Social Media Coordinator / Editor of I Heart ROC, a collection of interviews and stories by some pretty cool people around town. Each week, they feature an interview and an Instagram (@i.heart.roc) takeover. RYP recently sat down with Emily to learn about what she “hearts” about ROC the most.

Can you tell us about yourself?

My name is Emily Hessney Lynch. I’m a Rochester native; I attended the University of Rochester for my undergrad and my master’s degree. I’m the Digital Marketing Manager at High Tech Rochester and run a website called I Heart ROC in my spare time. I also co-run the North Winton Village Instagram, guest blog for Visit Rochester, and volunteer with alumni relations for the University of Rochester. I do some freelance social media management work on the side as well.

What’s your favorite part about living and working in Rochester?

When I interview folks for I Heart ROC, one of the most common answers I hear when I ask what their favorite part of living in Rochcester is, is “it’s the people.” That’s true for me too. My family is here, I’ve made some amazing friends here, and I continue to meet smart, interesting, hardworking Rochesterians all the time through I Heart ROC and my work with High Tech Rochester.

The size and the affordability of Rochester rank high for me too. I became a homeowner at age 25, and I don’t think there are many other cities where I could do that! I live in the North Winton Village and love the neighborhood.

Plus, the arts and cultural scene in Rochester is amazing. The vibrant community of artists and musicians here really makes the community unique. I love being able to check out new musicians at Sofar Sounds concerts across the city and to check out great local artists at festivals and art shows.

What’s your favorite Rochester season, and why?

Originally, I would have said fall, because I love the changing of the seasons and the gorgeous foliage. I’m also a big fan of crunchy leaves and pumpkin pie.

But, as I’ve grown up in the area, my favorite season has definitely shifted to summer. I love spending time in the Finger Lakes paddleboarding, swimming, visiting wineries, and eating great food. Our harsh winters always make me appreciate our beautiful summers more.

Are you originally from Rochester? How did you find yourself in the ROC at this period of your life?

I’m from the Rochester area originally—I grew up in the suburbs, attended college in the area, and stuck around. I worked at U of R for right out of college because I fell into a job that was a great fit. I’ve made so many connections in the community that it made staying here feel worthwhile and wonderful.

What is your favorite local nonprofit?

Cameron Community Ministries has always been one of my favorites. They are an urban outreach community center in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood, where 98% of residents live in poverty. I used to volunteer there in high school and have gone a few times since graduating college. I’d love to be more involved with them in the future.

Do you have any Rochester gems you’d like to share?

There are so many! Cobbs Hill is one of my personal favorites. I also love the grounds of the Memorial Art Gallery and eating at Restaurant Good Luck. For more, I’d recommend checking out 50 Things You Must Do in Rochester and 100 Things to Love about Rochester on I Heart ROC!

What accomplishments are you most proud of thus far in your life?

I’m proud of getting a master’s degree and buying a house at a young age. I worked hard to meet educational and financial goals early in life and am happy I was able to do so.

What made you want to get involved with I Heart ROC? What’s your favorite part about it?

I’ve been involved in I Heart ROC for about a year and a half now. I originally reached out to the site asking to be featured, and from there we found a natural fit. They brought me on board because of my organization skills, and I’ve been managing the workflow, planning the content strategy, interviewing Rochesterians, and managing the social ever since!

What’s your long-term professional goal? 

I’ve loved everywhere my path has taken me and I’m excited for the journey ahead! Learning new things is really fun for me, so any job where I can learn and grow with awesome coworkers will keep me happy.

Photo by Jacalyn Meyvis

Who inspires you?

I’m inspired by a lot of writers—Sloane Crosley is one of my favorite humor writers, and I love many of Stephen King’s books. His prolific nature and approach to writing (just keep doing it. Even if you’re bad. You’ll only get better) both inspire me.

I’m also inspired by my fellow Rochesterians here in our creative community. Everyone is supportive of one another and we are always finding new ways to create and thrive together.

What advice do you have for local young professionals?

1.) Work hard.

  • 2.) Don’t forget about work life balance. Work will always be there tomorrow. You don’t need to drive yourself into the ground day in and day out. Find hobbies outside of work that are fulfilling and enjoyable to you. Make sure work isn’t your whole identity.
  • What other Rochester young professionals should we be on the lookout for?There are a few who come to mind. Tianna Mañon and Vanessa Cheeks are both writers for Open Mic Rochester. Tianna is the Editor-in-Chief of Open Mic and was featured on I Heart ROC in 2017. Vanessa writes for both Open Mic and Rochester Woman Magazine, and was featured on I Heart ROC in 2016! These two ladies are super smart, savvy, thoughtful, and funny. Kate Meyers Emery, the Manager of Digital Engagement at the George Eastman Museum, is another one to look out for. She’s smart as a whip, fantastic at social media, and a wine connoisseur and great writer to boot. Kate was also our 73rd interview on I Heart ROC.