Today, with mixed emotions, we announce that Carey Houston will be retiring from 321. 

Since founding the company in 2016, Carey has been a leadership force for 321. Her vision to develop sales and marketing training that would help entrepreneurs grow their businesses has made a tremendous impact on the entrepreneur community.

321 Growth Academy has trained over 550 companies since those early days and 80% of alumni reported growth (with 30% doubling revenues) as a result of the knowledge and skills they gained in our courses. That is a legacy to be remembered.

But Carey also created a business with heart.

She built a team and network of seasoned experts and entrepreneurs, with a culture of generosity, radical candor, curiosity, and commitment to outcomes. “Keep it lean!” was a phrase she commonly used in encouraging staff to boldly try new things, in a lean, experimental way. She was never afraid of failure and was always by your side to support you, celebrate the wins, or debrief the mistakes. She motivated us to take risks and stretch in ways we couldn’t even imagine for ourselves. She was an inspirational leader to us all.

Carey inherently valued helping others and was committed to giving her support to the broader Alberta tech community. As a volunteer mentor with VMSA and a member of the A100, she supported hundreds of founders in navigating the ups and downs of starting a business. She delivered countless “Growth Snacks” learning events and other workshops for founders on a variety of sales and marketing topics – all at no cost to participants. She built partnerships across the tech ecosystem and readily offered her support for their goals. Most importantly, she was always willing to make time for a coffee date with alumni or community connections that needed a sounding board or some “radical candor, delivered with love.” 

For us, Carey was a leader, a mentor, and a friend. And we will miss her guidance and her spirit. We thank Carey for her incredible contributions to both 321 and to the broader community, and we wish her all the best in her retirement. She deserves to put her toes in the sand. 🏖️

What’s next?

We’re continuing Carey’s legacy in supporting entrepreneurs with sales and marketing expertise and are exploring some new ways to expand our impact, so stay tuned for more news to come. 

Chantel & Sarah