TERRA FIRMA TEAM
Cody Erickson / Founder
At his core, Cody is a creative, and long before Terra Firma was a thought in his mind, he was crafting realist oil paintings, getting displayed in museums, and featuring his work in Grand Rapids’ famed Art Prize. He has lived all over Michigan and in the last few years chose to settle in Grand Rapids with his wife Molly, a native to west Michigan. The big idea to establish Terra Firma stemmed from his creativity and has grown through his perseverance.
His love for climbing and community exudes from everything he does, and he is a prime example and advocate of inclusivity and excellence. To Cody, climbing is a constant challenge of mindfulness in the moment. It allows him to face fear, struggle, create goals, and overcome obstacles. The sport mirrors the soul and reveals much about a person. His ideal bouldering spots are in Bishop, CA and Smith Rock, OR. Fun fact: The inspiration for his daughter’s name (Juniper) comes from the juniper trees in Smith Rock.
Cody is a man of many passions. In his younger days, he was an avid skater with some serious punk vibes. Now, he is a climber, an artist, a husband and father, and a slightly obsessed Magic the Gathering player. In summation, Terra Firma is an expression of his many passions, a vehicle for creativity, fun, and community.
Sam Davies / Operations Manager
Native to Southeastern Michigan, Sam first started climbing in the Colorado Rockies and fell in love with the sport and the community immediately. He enjoys campfires under the stars, backpacking overseas, hiking 14ers, and enjoying deep conversations. In his spare time, you may find him composing acoustic melodies, with his nose in a book, or communing with nature on a walk or in a kayak. He dreams of visiting all of North America’s National Parks, trekking to Everest Base Camp, and one day building his own guitar.
Sam is also involved in efforts to assist refugee families and individuals in their resettlement journeys and is an advocate against the injustice of human trafficking. He values community and is passionate about creating spaces for people to be authentic and to share what matters most. To Sam, Terra Firma is that space, a community of unique people with diverse backgrounds doing what they love with people they love.
Favorite climbing spot — Red River Gorge
Mike Bienick / Head Routesetter
Michael is a native to Grand Rapids, Michigan, but he has done extensive traveling in the last few years hitting up crags all the way down in Arkansas, out to California, and up in Wisconsin (just to name a few). If he could climb anywhere, he would choose just about anyplace in the Eastern Sierras, but he has a special place in his heart for Bishop, Ca. Outside of climbing, Michael dabbles in basketball and baseball, snowboards skillfully, creates sick beats on the drums, and contains deep affection for the card game, Magic The Gathering. If you don’t know what Magic is, Michael would be delighted to indoctrinate you.
To Michael, climbing has become an outlet and helpful tool in releasing stress and anxiety. Even if only for an hour or so, climbing has the unique ability to block out the noise of life with a support that requires deep focus. He sees routesetting as an art form and is always trying to perfect his craft. Routesetting has become a way for him to give back to the community he loves. To Michael, nothing beats seeing a group of people working a problem he’s set, laughing and having a good time. Michael loves this community and is extremely invested into making sure that Terra Firma is a home for everybody and anybody, no matter your age, gender, or your beliefs!
Courtney Spangenberg / Event & Youth Coordinator
Born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI, Courtney is the youngest of 3 siblings. Her love for climbing began at a young age. She found herself constantly climbing the doorway and hanging from the door frame in her childhood home. She would seek out the tallest trees and climb to the top and sit for hours daydreaming. After spending a summer working seasonally in Yosemite National Park, she discovered the art of rock climbing. She was amazed by the strength, power, and grace climbers had while battling up these large rocks. Not knowing it then, she found that climbing was her gateway to finding her inner peace and community of people.
In her spare time you will find her backpacking through the trails of Michigan or relaxing on the couch with snacks and Netflix. She dreams of one day visiting all 7 continents to explore each diverse terrain, cuisine, and culture. Courtney values human connection and sees beauty when diverse groups of people come together to learn and grow. “Everyone you meet knows something you don’t, learn from them.” - Carl Jung
Favorite climbing spot — Bishop CA, The Happy Boulders
Becca / Purchasing Manager
Becca was born and raised outside of Chicago, IL. She has been climbing for about 6 years now, and enjoys climbing both in the gym and outdoors.
When she is not climbing, she likes to enjoy the outdoors in the form of running or hanging out on the patio of a coffee shop. Becca graduated from GVSU with a Biology degree emphasizing in genetics and is pursuing a career in human genetics research.
For purchasing questions/concerns contact email@example.com.
Chase / Desk Manager
While finishing his undergrad in political science at Grand Valley State University, Chase has been both a member and employee at Terra Firma. Climbing has been an important part of his life for a few years now, serving as a way to create bonds between others in the community as well as a way to keep him in shape.
Aside from climbing, Chase spends most of his time trying to convince his friends to play new board games with him. When that fails, you can usually find him in your local lap pool or on the nearest tennis court.
Nate / Desk Manager
Nate’s passion for climbing started while living in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. He loves how rock climbing challenges you on many different levels. You need to engage both mind and body to be successful in rock climbing.
When Nate is not at Terra Firma, he may be whipping up some grub in the kitchen, especially those healthy recipes. He even used to be a professional taster, so he knows what’s good. Otherwise, Nate is either playing soccer or hanging out with his awesome family.
DJ / Routesetter
DJ is one of the route setters here at Terra Firma, and he’s specifically responsible for dreaming up routes that are challenging and push the boundaries of your comfort zone. His favorite part of climbing is getting to fight gravity, because... DJ hates gravity.
When DJ isn’t climbing, you can find him tapping into his creative side behind the camera - he’s a full-time freelancing film maker! Many of you probably don’t know this, but DJ refuses to eat with any utensil besides a spoon - in his words, it is the superior utensil 🥄.
Rob / Routesetter
Rob has set at various gyms, schools, and home walls for almost 10 years and is now responsible for setting some of the awesome routes you’ve come to love at Terra Firma. He’s so passionate about route setting that at times he actually loves setting more than climbing the routes themselves. But, his favorite thing about climbing is how it brings people together - there’s nothing better than seeing a bunch of people spending time together, encouraging each other, and having fun.
When Rob isn’t at the gym you can find him being active in other ways, such as biking and running with his Australian Shepherd, Riley. A little fun fact about Rob - his full name is actually Rob, not Robert like most. He likes to joke that his parents weren’t too confident in his spelling abilities so they made that one easy for him
Audrey / Front Desk
Audrey, originally from Grand Rapids, attends college at the University of Northern Colorado where she is studying geology. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, hanging at the beach, and spending time with friends.
She spends most of her time either climbing, working, or working out. She loves that climbing allows her to challenge herself in a laid-back environment, and she loves the close community that climbing creates.
Calvin / Front Desk
Though Calvin went to climbing gyms growing up, it wasn't until he moved to Michigan for school that he fell in love with the sport and routesetting. Since then, he has enjoyed getting to know the outdoor recreation community and has introduced others to it through climbing trips and other outdoor excursions.
When he isn't climbing, Calvin spends time writing and recording music, practicing photography, and taking naps in the sun, preferably in a hammock.
Ethan / Front Desk
Ethan Emerson is an easygoing east-towner with an eclectic personality. Originally from Indiana, Ethan moved up to Michigan with his parents and younger sister for the changing and diverse city of Grand Rapids in 2007. Ethan was a passionate soccer player before, and after, the move; but after finding climbing he was quick to convert!
When Ethan is not at the climbing gym you’ll find him fly fishing, slacklining, or even throwing it back with some legos. He also loves meeting and talking with new people, so go introduce yourself, he’ll probably give you some beta too!
Paul / Front Desk
Paul, son of Paul, is originally from the vast corn fields of Illinois. He moved to Grand Rapids in March of 2018, and has fallen in love with the area. Paul is an avid hiker, biker, and kayaker.
He would rather spend his time outside with a pack on his back cruising deep into the wilderness than most other things. You can catch him frequenting all the bike shops in the area and more often than not, he will be wearing short shorts.
Sam / Front Desk
Sam has spent most of his life in west Michigan. He studied physiology at Michigan State university and will be attending PA school in Florida at the end of this summer. “We will be sad to see him go because he is without a doubt the best employee this company has ever seen.”
Sam enjoys hiking, camping, climbing, playing/ listening to music, cooking and eating food, tea, gardening, and spending time with his friends and family. After school he hopes to move out west to live in an area with more wilderness/ mountains to explore!
Silas / Front Desk
Silas was born and raised in West Michigan far from the rock faces that would soon entice him. Trips to Kentucky and Colorado sparked his passion for climbing but it wasn't until he had access to a local gym that he was really able to see what it was all about. Four years later and he's still feeling the stoke! For him getting involved with Terra Firma has been an awesome opportunity to get more Michiganders stoked on climbing and build the community.
He is currently a full time student at Cornerstone University studying Environmental Biology and aspires to further his education in Sustainable Development. You may find him wandering in the woods staring at trees, wading in streams, or collecting dirt. Don't be alarmed; it's purely educational!
Stephanie / Front Desk
Stephanie has been working intermittently at Terra Firma for almost a year now; she spends most of the year in Marquette. Her favorite thing about climbing is hands down the community aspect the sport brings and watching climbers gradually progress.
Outside of the gym, she is probably studying for nursing school. If she isn't doing this, you can probably find her trail running, road biking, sleeping on a beach, or eating Indian food.