“We are fortunate to welcome talented and accomplished new members to the board of trustees,” Head of School Penny Townsend said. “Their enthusiasm rivals their expertise in their various fields, and we know they will put their diverse – and fascinating – career and life experiences to excellent use. I look forward to seeing the ways in which they elevate our school.”
The school said goodbye to six trustees: Reuven Bigio, who departed after one term; Julie Franklin, who served six years; Randy Gumenick, who served six years and chaired the Building and Grounds Committee; Jennifer Kennedy, who served six years; Mark Meland, who served 12 years; and Betsy Murphy, who served for 15 years and chaired the board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
“Our departing board members together served Ransom Everglades for nearly 50 years,” said Board Chair Jeffrey J. Hicks ’84, who is entering his second year as chair. “They invested so much of their time and resources to help Ransom Everglades continue to develop as a world-class school. We are extremely grateful to all of them.”
The newcomers will serve three-year terms. Find their bios here:
Sloan Barnett is the author of The End of Food Allergy, which is a landmark book on preventing, diagnosing, and reversing food allergies. She is also the author of the New York Times bestseller: Green Goes with Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet. Barnett has been a television and print journalist for more than fifteen years, appearing on-air as a consumer and green contributor on NBC’s Today Show in addition to being the consumer editor for the NBC affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area. Barnett has also appeared twice on The Oprah Winfrey Show, been a legal and consumer expert for Fox, CNN and ABC, and hosted women’s talk shows for Lifetime and Oxygen. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, New York and then went on to write a legal and consumer advice column for the New York Daily News for nearly a decade. Barnett received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her law degree from the New York University School of Law. Sloan is a member of the Board and the Executive Committee of NYU School of Law, the President’s Council at Brown University, and she was the Chair of The California Pacific Medical Center Board. She and her husband, Roger Barnett, are the parents of three children: Spencer (Brown '24), Violet (Yale '25) and Lyle ’25.
Shane Battier is the Vice President of Analytics and Basketball Development for the Miami Heat, where he oversees the development of analytics to evaluate college talent, free agents and current players. During his 13-year National Basketball Association career as a player, he appeared in 977 career NBA games (705 starts) and averaged 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.01 steals and 30.7 minutes while shooting 43.7 percent from the field. The Miami Heat won back-to-back NBA titles during his three seasons. Battier was also a two-time recipient of the Magic Johnson Award for excellence on the court and cooperation with media and fans (2007 and 2013), and he won the Twyman-Stokes NBA Teammate of the Year Award in 2014. He and his wife, Heidi Battier, founded The Battier Take Charge Foundation in January 2010. The organization has supplied students at Miami Central High School with 39 full tuition college scholarships and given away over $1.6 million in college scholarships. Battier graduated from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in religion in 2001. His collegiate career included four regular season titles, three Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles and the 2001 National Collegiate Athletic Association championship. As a senior, he was selected as the National Player of the Year by nine outlets. A native of Birmingham, Mich., Battier and his wife have two children, Zeke '26 and Eloise.
Chris Torto is founder and CEO of Ascenty Data Centers, the largest provider of data center and fiber infrastructure services in Latin America. Ascenty was acquired by Digital Reality/Brookfield Infrastructure in September 2018 for $2.1 billion. Prior to his tenure at Ascenty, Torto was the founder and CEO of Vivax, the second-largest cable TV carrier in Brazil; the company went public in 2006 and was acquired in 2007. Torto also led Voyager Inc., an internet company that went public in 1999 and was acquired by a U.S. telecom group in 2000. He currently serves on the board for Mission, a managed services and consulting company for Amazon Web Services; the Harvard Business School alumni; QMC Telecom, a leading provider of cell tower services in Latin America; and Sullabs, a medical diagnostic company in Brazil. He has previously been a board member at Marin Academy and Mark Day School; he led both schools’ capital campaigns. He also is a former board member at Vivax SA and Voyager, Inc. Torto earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine, and an MBA from Harvard University. He and wife, Wanesko Torto, are the parents of Sophia Torto and Julia Marie Torto '24.
James G. Weaver, Jr. '90 is Managing Director of Global Sales in the Healthcare and Life Science Division for UPS based at World Corporate Headquarters in Atlanta. He previously served as U.S. Director, Strategy and Business Development for Private Equity Markets, and he also worked as Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing for Visual Marking Systems in Twinsburg, Ohio. Prior to that, he was Operating Principal (Vice President and General Manager) at Birchtree LLC, a private investment group based in New England. He also spent 16 years at 3M Company, where he worked in various senior sales and marketing leadership roles. Weaver has also committed himself to service; he is on the Executive Board of Advisors, Presidential Fellows, for The College of Wooster, and is a board member for Verge, Inc., a non-profit that helps felons transition back into society. He has been active at Ransom Everglades since he earned his bachelor’s degree at The College of Wooster and his MBA at Tampa College. As a two-sport athlete in college, he earned NCAA All-American honors and multiple all-conference awards in tennis and football and also was elected and served as team captain in both sports. He served as alumni board co-president; was a featured speaker at the 2021 REPA auction and 2021 Young Benefactor Circle event; and co-founded, with classmate and fellow trustee Agustin (Konky) Arellano, Jr. '90, a fully funded endowment in honor of their 30th class reunion with a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The Class of 1990 Equitable Experience Endowment Fund. In 2018, Weaver was inducted into the Ransom Everglades Athletic Hall of Fame for football, tennis and basketball. He and his wife, Janique Weaver, are parents of twins, James G. Weaver III and Jayden Weaver, who are studying business and pre-medicine at their respective universities.