Young entrepreneur, Taekwondo instructor dies at 25

SARATOGA SPRINGS – When Yumi Kageyama Refino entered an 8-week course in starting a business enterprise at IgniteU in Troy, she pitched a strategy to use solar panels to soften snow and ice off of driveways. A couple weeks in, she shifted to working with virtual actuality to educate Taekwondo coaches and judges.

Kageyama took the dramatic transform in stride and emerged as a effective, supportive and always-optimistic pressure in her cohort of other youthful entrepreneurs, according to people today she worked with in the software. 

“She had this incredible energy from the start off, was usually good, often smiling,” stated Samuel Mere, who was part of the exact IgniteU cohort as Kageyama in 2018. ”No subject who won or shed the levels of competition, she always put other individuals just before herself, always had terrific power and positivity for everybody else to do very well.”

By age 25, Kageyama, a 2014 Shenendehowa graduate, ran Risen Taekwondo studio in Malta with her spouse, Eugene Refino, mentored other entrepreneurs and volunteered with nearby high college learners intrigued in starting off their possess firms. She died Aug. 19 just after a vehicle incident, leaving all those who realized her grappling with the tragic decline of another person effectively right before their time.

Kageyama was born Nov. 21, 1995 she and her relatives immigrated to the United States when she was 8 yrs previous. She graduated from Shenendehowa Higher Faculty in 2014 and Siena College or university in 2021, according to an obituary. In late May perhaps, she married Refino, her enterprise and existence husband or wife. The pair began Risen Taekwondo in Malta in December 2016. 

People today who realized and worked with Kageyama remembered her as hardworking, driven, relentlessly beneficial and often eager to give back again to other individuals. Previously this thirty day period she returned to the IgniteU program to provide as a decide, dispensing her have really hard-earned knowledge as a younger businesswoman.

Bob Manasier, who directs the entrepreneurship application, explained Kageyama was a diligent, specific employee who acknowledged constructive comments from mentors and colleagues but was never worried to stand up for her place on a little something. He explained listening to the news of her death was like possessing a “piece of you ripped out.” He explained she understood both her strengths and weaknesses and usually worked to be greater.

“She also usually doubted her personal abilities, which we preach, you have to know your weaknesses as well as your strengths,” he explained. “I imagine that she knew how to get pleasure from the journey, a ton of individuals constantly want to go to the conclude intention and get their rapid and furious”

Manasier is functioning to create a scholarship in her identify at IgniteU he mentioned the scholarship will offer funding to anyone in the system who demonstrates an capability to “pivot” from 1 small business concept to yet another. 

He said Kageyama’s resilience in switching her business proposal immediately after facing specialized troubles in the solar-run driveway clearing thought was an case in point of her strengths as an entrepreneur. He said no a single has pivoted as nicely as she did. 

“Even although she hated failure, she embraced it it’s very really hard to give up a single your infants,” he said. “A good deal of individuals improve (ideas) and it disappears, since it’s also considerably work. And she caught to it.”

Monthly bill Dailey, a lawyer in the startup area who mentored Kageyama, mentioned business people can generally be competitive but that she often brought kindness to her interactions with other persons.

“She had an aura of kindness that carried above into just about every discussion, that seemed to have into every little thing she did,” Dailey mentioned. “The entrepreneurial globe is not normally the friendliest place and she designed it a heck of a ton friendlier.”

Kageyama was also an attained Taekwondo athlete, mounting to the level of a Black Belt teacher.

“Her passion for Taekwondo could be felt the minute she stepped on the Taekwondo ground, she beloved it,” Michael Yuasz, a former teacher to Kageyama stated in an e-mail Thursday. “Our family members is extremely shocked and saddened. She was and normally will be a proficient Taekwondo teacher who’s passion for Taekwondo and her college students will be skipped.”  

Quite a few of the mom and dad whose children she coached at Risen posted remembrances of Kageyama on the studio’s internet site in new times, highlighting the exclusive effects she had on her learners. 

“I’m so sorry to listen to of Yumi’s passing, rather truthfully thoroughly speechless. I can not thank you or her sufficient for encouraging my women via some of their most complicated decades. What an incredible mentor she was,” just one person posted.

One more commenter reported that the “loss of Ms. K will be felt forever.” 

“Such a younger, incredible and gorgeous woman who made use of her incredible attitude and positivity to impact her neighborhood and the kids who attended Risen,” the commenter wrote. “Her spirit will eternally are living on in all those she touched.”

Dailey, one of Kageyama’s mentors, in describing his 1st views just after hearing about her passing encapsulated several of the emotions expressed on social media.

“This is an unjust factor to take place in the world, and the world is likely to overlook out on a lot,” Dailey stated.

Kageyama, who lived in Saratoga Springs, is survived by her husband, Eugene Refino her mothers and fathers, Mee Nah Lim and Yuji Kageyama her brother, Takaaki Kageyama and her extended family members. The family members held a visitation on Thursday evening. Funeral solutions are scheduled for Friday at 11 a.m. at Grace Fellowship Church at 1 Company Ave., Clifton Park.

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