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t9da Board


Ben terpsma

executive director


veteran - United States Marines corp

michigan army national guard

certified mtb coach

Service . Connection . Leadership 

Ben has spent the entirety of his adult life in service to others; as a member of the Marine Corp in his early years, to a public-school teacher, sheriff deputy, and now as a member of the Michigan National Guard, Ben loves giving back and serving his community. 


This passion for service, combined with his love of mountain biking and the outdoors was the inspiration behind he and Laura creating The 90 Degree Ascent.  

When he is not working on T9DA, he can be found traveling with his amazing wife and kids, plunking out tunes on the piano, or embracing his inner HGTV by finishing home remodeling projects. 


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Laura Terpsma

Board secretary

certified yoga instructor

certified world paddle instructor/safety 

Community . Service . Joy

Attorney by Day. Yogi by night. Laura spends her days working for Chicagoland's largest joint pain physician group as the Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer. Their mission is to restore freedom & movement to more than a million people by 2030. Her passion to serve others comes from her own experience with immobility after a botched surgery left her unable to walk at 33. 


As part of her rehab, Laura found yoga and the healing benefits it brought both physically and emotionally. She knew she wanted to also work with others to find the joy of movement and mindfulness. 


Laura has taught yoga for the last 10 years both in studio and around the globe. Laura was a Board Member & Yoga Teacher Trainer for Africa Yoga Project for 6 years, an organization dedicated to the transformational practices of mindfulness & yoga. She has worked with Wounded Warrior Project and Street Yoga to bring yoga and mindfulness to both veteran and homeless communities.

Since regaining her own freedom she has become an avid mountain biker, paddleboard junkie and yogi. She enjoys time in the woods, on the water & at home with her husband Ben and three kids. 


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Stephanie rife

board President


certified yoga instructor

certified run coach

athletic trainer

Foundation . Wellness . Community 

Her shirt says it all, and so does that smile.  Stephanie is larger than life and her passion for wellness and community knows no limit.


At home Stephanie spends time with her husband Dale and three kids. Where daily runs and bike rides are essential family time. 


At work she spent the first half of her career as the Vice President of Operations for one of the DoD's largest suppliers; and while was wildly successful, it left her wanting to do more. 

So, she did it. She left, and started her own nonprofit, Foundation Wellness, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of an active lifestyle by offering holistic youth and family focused programs to improve the health and wellness of the community. 

Stephanie is a certified yoga instructor, run coach, and has a bachelor degree in exercise science.  She joins T9DA to bring her expertise and experience in running nonprofits and fitness to the military family, specifically moms and kids. 

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