Towbes Group employees work to build structures made of canned goods during a team-building exercise Friday. The 2,000 cans of food were then donated to the Unity Shoppe. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Stacking cans of corn, diced tomatoes and canned soup, about 60 employees of The Towbes Group worked in the sunshine at Bacara Resort & Spa on Friday afternoon to replicate some of the world’s most iconic structures.

Building replicas like the Golden Gate Bridge and the White House with canned goods was all part of the team-building exercise, which had a handful of teams stacking the cans, with the winning group receiving gift cards and the canned food being donated to local nonprofit Unity Shoppe.

The employees were part of The Towbes Group’s Residential Department, which includes 14 residential apartments complexes across the county, including the newly opened Santa Maria Siena Apartments, which contain 211 units that just opened to the public Tuesday.

Those employees included everyone from managers to maintenance workers who work to keep the company’s 2,400 apartment rentals running.

One of those working on a replica Taj Mahal was employee James Brill, who works at Willow Springs in Goleta, helping to manage 335 units in the complex, where over 600 residents live.

He has worked with the company for four years and says he enjoys the time each year to go to the conference.

“It’s nice to have a company that invests time in employee development,” he said.


The Towbes Group employees replicated some of the world’s most iconic structures, including the White House and the Taj Mahal. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Those at the conference were also offered a free night’s stay at the Bacara as part of the conference.

Tom Reed, executive director of the Unity Shoppe, was on hand to judge the designs and said the 2,000 cans of food used in the team-building activity represents a week’s worth of food that the shop would have to find elsewhere if not for the donation.

Each Towbes property’s offices were closed for the day so employees could attend the conference, which they’ve been holding for six years, said Jim Carrillo, vice president of residential properties.

“A lot of owners would give one eyebrow up at that,” he said, adding that it’s important for the company to do. “We get back much more when they’re invested.”

Because they are scattered around the county, “some of these employees won’t see each other for four or five months,’ he said, “but they’ll remember today.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper

— Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.