Erika Donalds is the Chief Executive Officer of Optima Ed, an education experience company dedicated to expanding high-quality school choice. A mother of three boys and former finance executive with a passion for education, she has offered her expertise in business to help further the expansion of parental choice and to improve accountability and governance in Florida’s public schools.
Prior to launching Optima, Donalds was Chief Financial Officer/Chief Compliance Officer and Partner at DGHM, an investment management firm. She served with the company for almost 20 years and was responsible for finance, compliance, and operations, in addition to serving on the firm’s Management Committee. Donalds holds a B.S. in Accounting from Florida State University and a Masters in Accountancy from Florida Atlantic University. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant.
Donalds is a former member of the Collier County School Board. During her tenure, she co-founded the Florida Coalition of School Board Members and served as the group’s President. She was appointed to Florida’s 2017-18 Constitution Revision Commission by then-Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran, and recently served on Governor DeSantis’ Advisory Committee on Education and Workforce Development.
Donalds now serves on the Florida Gulf Coast University Board of Trustees and on advisory boards for Classical Learning Test, Moms for Liberty, and the Independent Women’s Forum Education Freedom Center.