Cool Coworking Space Spotlight

Twelve Million Plus creates a community hub for military spouses

For military spouses, the challenges of frequent relocations and isolation can be overwhelming. Navigating new communities, finding employment opportunities, and building a support system from scratch with each move can take a significant toll. 

Nevermind the impact on the careers of the spouses themselves, who often have to find opportunities, be open to a remote employee or sacrifice the kind of growth and development that come from continuity. 

And with the rise of Return to Office mandates, that is more challenging than ever.

However, a solution has been in service via an app and a digital community to address many of these challenges. Instant Teams is a mission-driven company committed to supporting and employing the “force behind the force” – military spouses. As remote-first experts since 2016, they’ve mastered the art of remote hiring, training, deploying, and managing teams at scale. 

And now a physical community has just opened its doors, thanks to the innovative vision of Liza Rodewald and her team at Twelve Million Plus (12M+), an Instant Teams' community.

12M+ coworking interior

The real need for real connection

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the desire for in-person connection among military spouses became even more pronounced. "We did a survey to the military spouses in our community around two years ago," Rodewald explains. "And we asked them, what is missing? One thing came out more than anything: they were really wanting in-person connection."

Despite the rise of remote work and virtual communities, the military spouse community still faces unique challenges. "During COVID, we still moved," Rodewald notes. "And so when you were put in a new community, and everything was shut down, and everything was in isolation, that just made the problem even worse."

A vision for a physical space takes shape

As a military spouse herself, Rodewald intimately understood the need for a physical space that could foster connections and provide resources. "When I got here, my desire was to pilot out this concept of in-person connection in a very transient virtual base kind of community," she says.

Finding the perfect location wasn't easy, but after a year-long search, Rodewald stumbled upon an old dance studio in Southern Pines, North Carolina. "When I walked in it, it had what I wanted – open spaces, nice beams in the ceiling," she recalls. "It just had that “it” factor of what I was trying to do." Rodewald chose Coworks space management software and got down to the business of serving her community.

With a vision of creating a collaborative space rather than just a coworking environment, Rodewald set out to transform the studio into a hub where military spouses could connect with the local community as soon as they arrived.

A space for connection and growth

The result is a vibrant 4,000-square-foot space that serves as a gathering place for military spouses to work, socialize, and access resources for themselves, their families, and their careers.


"My vision was to have a space where they could connect with the local community as soon as they arrive," Rodewald explains, "instead of waiting to find their tribe and just happen upon their community. And that usually happens right before they leave — which is a common story in the military spouse community."

Beyond just providing a physical location, 12M+ has infused the space with a range of programming and events designed to foster connections and personal growth. "We're very event-driven," Rodewald says. "We do monthly, quarterly, and some very large scale events."

One such event, the Military Spouse Market, transformed the entire space into a marketplace for military spouse vendors, showcasing their diverse talents and products. "We had all military spouse vendors in here, selling flowers, permanent jewelry, candles, clothing," Rodewald recalls with pride.

It’s also a family-friendly location, with play spaces and soft furnishings to allow working parents the chance to network, attend events, connect, and strategize without having to secure childcare.

Helping one community to integrate into another

Central to Rodewald's vision is the idea of bridging the gap between military spouses and the broader community. "We have community partners that come in and use the space," she explains. "We do big events here where the community is invited as well, because again, we're trying to integrate the two — serve the military spouse community, but also connect them to the actual local community."

This integration is crucial, as military spouses often struggle to find their footing in new communities. "My own service member immediately has meetings, coworkers, and a whole chain of things he has to do to get familiar with the area once we arrive. He has a built in network of people already." Rodewald explains. "I have nothing. I get told we are moving here, and I have to figure out where we are going to live, what schools we are going to attend, which doctors we should see. There is no such programming for me."

By fostering connections and providing resources, 12M+ aims to help military spouses hit the ground running in their new communities, maximizing their time and opportunities.

Offering diversity and empowerment

One of the key misconceptions Rodewald hopes to dispel is the idea that military spouses are a homogeneous group. "People try to put military spouses all into one category together," she says. "And it's a very diverse group of people."

From young spouses just starting their careers to older individuals with advanced degrees, the military spouse community encompasses a wide range of backgrounds and aspirations. 

"They're everyone, and they're also just civilians," Rodewald emphasizes. "They're just regular people, they don't need companies to do a lot of special programming for them. Even though that's great. But at the end of the day in what we do, they're just looking for a job opportunity."

By recognizing and celebrating this diversity, the 12M+ virtual community empowers military spouses to pursue their ambitions and showcase their talents, whether through professional development programs like a professional development book club or by providing a platform for entrepreneurship. And now those same opportunities happen in person.

Deploying a promising future

Pull QuotesThe response to the new physical space has been overwhelmingly positive, with the one-year anniversary celebration attracting a long line of eager military spouses before the doors even opened. "It was just very humbling," Rodewald reflects.

But this is just the beginning. With plans to expand to locations outside every major military installation, 12M+ is poised to become a nationwide network of community hubs, empowering military spouses to thrive wherever their journey takes them.

As Rodewald herself notes, "Those are all things that we use at Instant Teams to make the opportunities, because we've got all of these unique, lived-experience talent pools out here. They are people who are self-starters who can get things done, and who have high levels of retention — all the qualities that companies say they want. And as an employee, this lifestyle does cultivate those qualities, whether you like it or not. And so it just makes sense for them to partner. It's not about hiring a military spouse, because it's a good thing to do — hire a military spouse because they kick ass and they'll make the best employee you’ve got."

With its innovative approach, unwavering commitment to community, and deep understanding of the military spouse experience, 12M+ is paving the way for a future where no military spouse is left behind, and every journey is met with the support, resources, and connections needed to thrive.

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