Walter P. Cooke Award

Lawrence castellani

LAWRENCE CASTELLANI 
A senior executive with more than 30 years of experience, Castellani started stocking shelves in 1962 for his family’s upstate New York supermarket chain, which became Tops Friendly Markets.

A senior executive with more than 30 years of experience, Castellani started stocking shelves in 1962 for his family’s upstate New York supermarket chain, which became Tops Friendly Markets. He became CEO of Tops in 1991, and remained in that role until 1998, when he stepped down to run Latin American operations for Royal Ahold NV, a Dutch supermarket operator. He finished his retail career as CEO and chairman of Advanced Auto Parts, and now serves as a consultant for Freeman Spogli & Co.  A longtime friend of UB, he understands the university’s importance to the community. Chair emeritus of the UB Council, he also has served on UB’s campaign leadership committee, the UB Foundation Board and as chair of the foundation's audit committee. UB presented him with the President's Medal in 1998.

Walter P. Cooke Award

The Cooke Award recognizes notable meritorious contributions by non-alumni that influence the growth and improvement of UB, and inspire others to give their active interest and material support to the university.