Former Cheerwine VP named CMO of Stop Hunger Now

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 22, 2016

RALEIGH — Stop Hunger Now has named Tom Barbitta as chief marketing officer. Barbitta will oversee the evolution of the Stop Hunger Now global brand platform and contribute to the strategic plan in its mission to end hunger. Barbitta will report to CEO Rod Brooks.

Barbitta has more than 30 years of global brand sales and marketing experience focused on innovative brand strategy, elevating organizations and building strong teams. His experience spans a wide range of U.S. based multinational companies specific to consumer packaged goods categories.

He was most recently with the Carolina Beverage Corporation as its senior vice president of Marketing overseeing the marketing of Cheerwine, an iconic soft drink headquartered in Salisbury.

Stop Hunger Now CEO Rod Brooks stated, “Engaging volunteers and donors is a key strategy in our efforts to end hunger by 2030. Tom’s extensive marketing background will be a tremendous asset in driving involvement in our cause.”

Barbitta’s career includes positions with Miller Brewing Company, Thomas J. Lipton (Unilever) and Nabisco, where he spent 11 years leading brand marketing and sales for the Planters nut franchise. In 1995, Tom was recruited by the Oberto Company in Kent Washington to help the Oberto Beef Jerky brand move to the next level. His team’s success directly led to the creation of a distribution alliance with Frito-Lay/PepsiCo, and national distribution for the Oberto brand.

Barbitta received a nomination to the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned a bachelor’s of arts degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Barbitta’s family founded a nonprofit organization called Cake for Kids Cambodia, travelling bi-annually to work in hardship areas teaching children English and life skills and providing resources for critical needs.

Barbitta said, “The opportunity to join Stop Hunger Now marries my passion for building brands and my purpose of giving back. I hope my decision to join ranks with a nonprofit such as Stop Hunger Now encourages and inspires other CPG marketers to consider the same. There exists significant opportunity to make an impact in the nonprofit world by applying ‘for-profit’ experience. I am honored to be a part of this outstanding organization.”