Margot Gillette has been BASEC’s Executive Director since October 2013. She lives in her hometown of Redfield, SD with her husband and one high school-aged son. Her daughter is newly married and she is the proud grandmother of one feisty redheaded grandson. Margot graduated from the University of South Dakota with majors in English and History and a minor in Political Science. She attended law school at the University of Colorado where she attained her Juris Doctorate.
Margot’s background is in law, title insurance, teaching and economic development. She is licensed to practice law in South Dakota and Colorado. Margot is also a licensed abstracter, a certified Social Studies teacher and a Certified Economic Development Professional. Margot is a member of the First Congregational Church in Redfield, the South Dakota State Bar, Literary Guild, and Questers.
Margot returned from the big city to her hometown in 1996. She has never regretted the move! For Margot, living rural means being close to family and being able to make a difference. She loves working with individuals and communities on economic and community development projects that will have lasting impact. Rural economic and community development takes on many forms and Margot loves the challenge and the resiliency of the people and communities she serves.
Serving as BASEC’s Finance Manager, Amy Hofer has been with BASEC since 2013. She resides on a farm near Doland with her husband Nik and their two sons. She graduated from South Dakota State University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Consumer Affairs with an emphasis in Resource Management and minors in business and marketing. In addition, she is a certified Economic Development Professional.
After meeting her husband at SDSU, Amy moved to Doland so Nik could pursue his passion of farming with his family. Originally from Sioux Falls, Amy was reluctant to move, but after living in rural South Dakota since 2009, she is thankful for the sense of community Doland offers. According to Amy, people truly care for one another. Once at a gift shop in a neighboring rural town, the clerks volunteered to watch her infant son while she shopped. They were more than happy to get their “grandma fix.” Perhaps cliché, but Amy believes rural communities are a great place to raise a family.
In addition to her work at BASEC, Amy is a member of the Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Doland Community Foundation, Doland Revolving Loan Board, and President of the Doland Community Daycare Board. She continues her involvement with the Chi Omega Women’s Fraternity, serving as the state recruitment information chair. In her free time, Amy loves cooking, baking, crafting and anything found on Pinterest.
When asked what impact BASEC has on the communities it serves, Amy responded: “I believe we provide opportunities for families to own their own home when they cannot obtain financing elsewhere. We try to aid in community development, so we provide support to organizations in our communities when they might need help. Also, I hope we are showing these small communities that they are worth fighting for and there really are people who care to see the communities exist and grow. We seek to help make these small communities an even better place to live.”
Board of directors
Brian Hull is from Tulare, SD and has been a BASEC board member since 2008. He currently serves as board president. Brian is married to Pam and they have six children, 12 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Brian has worked for the Tulare School District as a maintenance man since 1984. An entrepreneur and music lover at heart, Brian started a DJ business in 2008 and rocks all kinds of parties in the area! He is a member of the Tulare United Church, TVC Praise Band, and the Tulare Volunteer Fire Department. Brian has received the Lions Distinguished Service Award, an Honorary FFA Membership Award, South Dakota High School Activities and Association Friend of Football Award and the Mason’s Service Award. Brian loves music, sports, muscle cars, history and all things related thereto. He also loves animals and fishing.
Brian believes that developing communities to their optimum potential can be accomplished by promoting business growth, housing and community development. Brian’s favorite thing about living in rural South Dakota is knowing his neighbors and the way the community takes care of its own people. He loves that his community is safe and a great place to raise a family.
Kirby lives on the family farm outside of Iroquois. He has been a BASEC board member since 2009. Kirby is married to June and they have 4 grown children which include 3 sons and 1 daughter. Kirby also has 4 grandchildren. Kirby is employed by UtliCare in DeSmet. He has been in manufacturing for 21 years and is a member of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME). Kirby enjoys pheasant hunting, boating, camping, hobby farming – which includes raising lambs, Chukar Partridge, Bobwhite Quail, chickens and ducks.
Kirby believes in helping people get into a position to be able to succeed in their businesses, purchase their homes, and be able to thrive in their communities. Kirby’s favorite thing about living in rural South Dakota is being able to participate in a multitude of outdoor activities!
Gary Deckert is from Doland, SD and has been on the BASEC board since 1998. He currently serves as the secretary/treasurer of BASEC.
He is married to Muriel and has two grown children, Tracy and Sara, and is the proud grandfather to six grandchildren. Gary has been in agribusiness for 39 years. He farms near Doland and is also a partner in Deckert Pumping with his son. Gary belongs to Emmanuel Church and serves as a City Council member for Doland. In his free time, Gary likes woodworking – especially when he is making things for his grandchildren, spending time with his family, and attending his grandchildren’s activities. He also enjoys camping and travel.
Gary’s goals as a board member include maintaining what already exists in BASEC’s small communities while encouraging others to locate their families and businesses there. His favorite thing about living in rural South Dakota are the wide open spaces, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and knowing his neighbors.
From Tulare, SD, Tom Martin has been a BASEC board member since 2014. He is married to Kristi and they have four sons and one daughter. Tom has spent most of his career in the retail firearms and indoor shooting range businesses. He currently works in agribusiness as a representative for Wilbur-Ellis in their environmental health and safety departments. Tom has been a volunteer and instructor for Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources Firearms Training Program since 1991. He is a member of the Tulare United Church, serves as a board member for Tulare Economic Development Corporation, is a member of the Buffalo Township Fire Board, and is a member of the James Valley Snowmobile Club.
Tom’s economic development philosophy is to help people invest in rural communities by providing structure and support. His favorite thing about living rural is the people he has met and the close-knit communities where everyone helps out one another and cares about their well being.
Hailing from Doland, SD, LeAnne Bawek has been a BASEC board member since 2015. She is married to Dan and has three school-aged children. LeAnne is a farmer and a partner in Bawek Trucking with her husband. LeAnne and a small group of investors recently built a tri-plex in Doland and she is the managing partner. She is a member of the Doland United Methodist Church, serves on the Church Board, is the Clerk of the Belle Plaine Township, is the secretary/treasurer of Spink County Towns and Townships Association, and is a board member of the Doland Community Foundation. She is also an active 4-H parent both locally and in Spink County. In her free time, LeAnne likes spending time with her extended family, riding motorcycles, cooking, baking and gardening.
LeAnne believes that individuals and businesses need to invest in their communities to ensure that these rural communities exist for the next generations. Communities need to build on what they have and find new ways to retain their residents. LeAnne’s favorite thing about living in rural South Dakota is the sense of belonging and the fact that everyone seems to pull together to take care of one another.
John Tschetter is from Yale, SD and has been a BASEC Board member since 2010. John is married to Kayce and has three school-aged daughters. He is a self-employed contractor and most recently began farming and ranching his grandparents’ acreage. John loves watching his daughters excel in their activities, as well as boating, tubing, riding horses, fishing, and camping.
John believes that developing housing and businesses in rural communities is a strong economic development catalyst. Making communities stronger and more viable will result in more of our children returning to their roots and calling it home. John says the best things about living rural are that there is plenty of elbow room and friendly people.
Living in rural Frankfort, Dane became a BASEC board member in 2015. Dane is married to Donna and has four grown children, two girls and two boys, and is also the proud grandfather of seven. As a lifelong farmer of 39 years, Dane has dedicated his life to rural South Dakota. In his free time, Dane enjoys helping with local fundraisers, working with youth as a Shooting Sports coach, and attending car shows.
In addition to serving on BASEC’s Board of Directors, he also serves as the supervisor of Harmony Township, has spent 38 years as a volunteer firefighter for the Frankfort Fire Department, and is heavily involved in the Spink County Shooting Sports program as a coordinator and a coach, a role he has played for 25 years.
Dane’s rural economic development philosophy is that individual and group effort is necessary to make small towns and communities better places. When asked what his favorite thing about living in rural South Dakota is, Dane responded, “Diversity: the quiet setting of rural life and the clamor of a larger community only a few miles away.”
Chad lives on the family farm outside of Iroquois and has been a BASEC board member since 2011. He is married to Angel and has three daughters. He belongs to Immanuel Lutheran Church where he serves as a council member. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Farmers State Bank in Iroquois. Chad earned Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Sociology and Psychology from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. The majority of Chad’s time is spent around land, cattle and other agricultural issues. He enjoys camping with his family, attending Iroquois School sporting events, and ATV rides.
Chad has witnessed the trends of shrinking towns, fewer farms per square mile, and fewer schools, but continues to believe rural communities still serve an important role in our state’s economic development. He believes that with a little more work and diligence to assure rural south dakotans have the tools and resources to attract people and businesses that our small communities can continue to play a vital role in South Dakota’s future.
What Chad likes about living rural is the safety, tranquility and simplicity. He never has to fight traffic or crowds and can just jump on his ATV and explore!