Corporate Leadership

Erica McMannes

Erica has been a leader in the military community for more than two decades, holding various roles within the Department of Defense and private sector. Prior to starting Instant Teams, Erica was a consultant for veteran-owned startups in Silicon Valley, specializing in remote team development and management, brand distribution, and content creation. 

She is the Founder and Chief People & Community Officer of Instant Teams and Twelve Million Plus.

Starting Instant Teams

Erica and Liza met as freshly uprooted military families in 2014. They quickly identified that they shared a common bond in not only the entrepreneurial and technology space but that they also had a heart for the community around them.

Throughout their professional journeys, they had both seen a need for disruptive solutions for remote team development. Companies craved immediate access to the best talent, while their peers and neighbors in the military community needed a direct connection to flexible work opportunities. Erica and Liza knew with their combined background in software development and community development, they could build a solution to bridge the growing gap. 

In 2016, Erica founded Instant Teams with Liza Rodewald. Together, they created a talent marketplace that uses innovative technology, career development, and a focus on skills-based hiring to create employment solutions for companies and remote careers for military and veteran spouses. 

Early investors included The Founder Institute, Squadra Ventures, Frontier Venture Capital, and Right Side Capital Management. In March 2022, Instant Teams closed a $13 Million Series A funding round led by Tiger Global. 

Instant Teams has been recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, RemoteTech Breakthrough, Blue Star Families, and Hiring Our Heroes. In 2022, Instant Teams made the Inc. 5000 List as No. 208 overall, No. 13 in the HR Industry, and No. 9 in North Carolina. 

Commitment to the Military Community

In 2023, Instant Teams launched Twelve Million Plus, the first verified and only digital community for the more than twelve million military spouses stationed around the globe. Twelve Million Plus also opened a free co-working space in Southern Pines, NC. The kid-friendly community space gives local military spouses a place to connect, co-work, and upskill. Instant Teams proudly supports local businesses and has hosted networking events, comedy shows, career panels, and local business groups.

Erica and Instant Teams are committed to improving military spouse unemployment rates by providing remote opportunities, career continuation, and opportunities to upskill. Instant Teams has also participated in Congressional roundtables, National Defense Authorizations Act reports, Department of Defense pilot programs, and policy/advocacy work around military spouse hiring and entrepreneurship. 

Awards & Accomplishments

Erica is an alumna of the Patriot Boot Camp and V-WISE programs, and is a two-time winner of grant-led startup pitch competitions. She is a prominent voice in conversations on military spouse employment and remote team leadership and culture. In 2023, she was inducted into the Order of Our Lady of Loreto by the Army Aviation Association of America and the U.S. Army Aviation Center, recognizing her contributions to the Army Aviation community.  

She’s been highlighted at HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference, Amazon’s Women in Operations Leadership Summit, SHRM’s Visionary Summit, and is a four-time presenter at the Military Influencer Conference and the Department of Defense’s Annual Military Spouse Employment Partnership Summit. Erica has served terms on non-profit boards, including the Board of Directors for Hampton Roads Start Peninsula and the Board of Directors for Impact100 Greater Peninsula.

Fun facts:

  • Erica supported U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Thom Tillis (R-NC)  with the bipartisan Military Spouse Entrepreneurship Act of 2023.
  • Erica moved 14 times in 21 years as an Army spouse.
  • Erica once found Peter Frampton’s jacket at a thrift shop and returned it, which landed her and her dad free concert tickets. It’s a great story! Ask her about it next time you see her or get a chance to catch up.