Rochester community commemorates friend, young entrepreneur
Nicholas Arieno remembered as integral part of longboarding community
Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 21, 2013 14:10
Nicholas Arieno had a passion for longboarding.
People in his hometown of Rochester say they often found him at the top of a hill – any hill – standing on four wheels and a long piece of wood. He rode around town with others in the local longboarding community and tried to spread his passion to as many people as possible.
Arieno, who was found dead Sept. 22 in the basement of 93 Winspear Ave. near UB South Campus, was a freshman business major and aspiring entrepreneur. Arieno’s toxicology report has not been released, and his cause of death is not yet known.
He spent as much time as he could longboarding, and those who know him say he was a genuine young man who had a vision for the future of the sport. He is also known as someone who was sincerely interested in feedback and could handle criticism.
Arieno was a graduate of Greece Athena High School in Rochester and was studying chain supply management at UB.
Before graduating high school, he started a successful business with his best friend, Abhinav Garg. The company, which specialized in selling longboards and being environmentally conscious in its business, was called Fleet Board Sports.
Arieno and Garg were finalists for the Saunders Scholars Bright Ideas Competition in part of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA). Garg declined an interview with The Spectrum but told WHAM Rochester he and Arieno “were like two peas in a pod.”
When Arieno wasn’t on his longboard, he was either bouncing ideas off others in hopes of advancing his business or volunteering his time at a camp for children with diabetes.
He was dedicated to helping those with diabetes because he had it.
In 2010, he earned his Eagle Scout ranking in Boy Scouts of America.
Dean O’Neil, a senior at Webster Thomas High School and member of Stranj Boards, met Arieno in December 2012 and heard the news of his death through a friend.
“I was honestly shocked,” O’Neil said. “I felt awful. He was way too young. It didn’t make any sense.”
Arieno developed strong rapport within the longboarding community in Rochester.
“He was always having a good time,” said Louis LaGambino, part of the Rochester longboarding community and a member of Stranj Boards, in an email. “He was never the person who needed to be encouraged to stay longer. [He] simply enjoyed spending time with people who shared his interests.”
Arieno was also never judgmental or put off by competing longboard businesses, according to LaGambino. Instead, Arieno saw the competitors as an opportunity to share information and learn more about the industry.
O’Neil said Arieno was a fan of the sport’s camaraderie.
“The biggest part of it was the whole community ideal,” O’Neil said. “I think Nick fell for that part of the sport because it brought together a lot of people.”