Three local leaders will take the podium at this year’s PWA Expo Breakfast on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at the Oregon Convention Center. The speakers include Portland entrepreneur Jelani Memory, co-founder and CEO at A Kids Book About; Dr. Adrien Bennings, president of Portland Community College; and Dr. Shay James, superintendent of the North Clackamas School District.

The annual breakfast attracts more than 400 business leaders and educators, as well as high school students from across the Portland area who are developing their college-and-career aspirations.

Jelani Memory

Portland-based entrepreneur Jelani Memory is the author of “A Kids Book About Racism,” and co-founder and CEO of A Kids Company About, dedicated to helping kids navigate difficult topics. Learn his company’s origin story here


Dr. Adrien Bennings

Dr. Adrien Bennings joined Portland Community College in the summer of 2022 as the college’s eighth president, making her PCC’s first permanent female president in its history. 

Dr. Bennings has taught courses in human resources development, academic development and retention, and small business development. She has held progressively higher-level positions in higher education for more than 15 years.  See her official biography here


Dr. Shay James 

Dr. Shay James became Superintendent of the North Clackamas School District (NCSD) on July 1, 2021. Dr. James joined NCSD in 2016 and previously served as its Assistant Superintendent of Education and Executive Director of High School Programs. Prior to her work at NCSD, she held several roles with Portland Public Schools, from  teacher and principal to Senior Director of High Schools and College and Career Readiness. See her official biography here


Get Involved with the PWA Expo Breakfast

Tables and individual tickets are available for the PWA Breakfast celebration, but they are going fast. Our last in-person breakfast sold out. Register today!

Early Breakfast Sponsors for 2023 include Tonkon Torp, Portland HR Management Association, Davidson Benefits and SERA. Sponsorship opportunities include Table Sponsors and Event Sponsors. Contact Partnerships Director Carlos Sánchez Huizar for more information at

2023 PWA Expo Breakfast Speakers Announced