Donald E. DuBeau


An S.E.C. Biography

Don was born in Billings, Montana on June 13, 1935, to Logan and Cecile DuBeau. His grandparents had settled in Montana after coming there to build railroads and work in the timber business. His roots wind back to Minnesota, South Dakota, and even Canada, where his great grandfather was in the timber business. With the exception of the years during World War II, when Don’s family moved to Seattle, Washington, and Alameda, California, for their father’s service in defense plants, Don has lived in Montana, graduating from Billings High School in 1953.

Don’s first career was in the grocery business. His father had started a small grocery store in 1951 as a result of his frustration that a street vendor kept running out of sweet rolls before he would get to the DuBeau house: “One of these days I’m going to have a grocery store that people can walk in and buy a sweet roll anytime they want one,” he said. And so he did! It was a very small store in the beginning but he kept expanding and remodeling it. Shortly after high school, Don’s father asked him to join as a partner in the grocery business. Their business grew and in a few years they owned four grocery stores and a wholesale/retail meat processing plant.

During his younger years, Don served eight years in the Army Reserve under Commander Bud Hansen, a man who would later play an important role in Don’s real estate career. Always trying to increase his knowledge, Don took correspondence courses from La Salle University in Chicago and took advantage of every opportunity he could to improve himself. Don began his real estate career in 1967 with his old friend and Army commander Bud Hansen. Bud was very successful in real estate, owning one of the largest firms in Montana. He was very active in Realtor organizations, including being president of the Montana Association of Realtors.

For many years Bud tried unsuccessfully to get Don to join his firm. However, Don’s resistance to pursue a career in real estate changed suddenly one morning. Don was actively involved in grocery related trade associations and was appointed to represent them in their negotiations with the grocer labor unions. A particular labor dispute had required Don to be in meetings with union representatives throughout the night trying to avoid a strike. He had gone home after sunrise to get an hour of sleep when a U.S. Wage and Hour Auditor came to his house and served him papers regarding a complaint being filed against him! It was the last straw for “Don the grocer and meat man” as he was so angry at union reps, government regulations and intrusions that he called Bud and told him he was ready to change careers.

Don immediately took his brokerage exam and launched his real estate career. His first few months he sold a total of six houses and hated ever minute of it! However, he thought the commercial/investment part of the business would interest him so he took all the courses he could in that field. Hansen sold Don one-half interest in the firm along with running the daily operations of the newly named company: DuBeau/Hansen.

The real estate company continued to grow and was the only exclusive commercial/ investment/farm and ranch brokerage firm in Montana. Their holdings included joint ventures in several development projects and large farming operations. But as with many great projects in the 1980’s, the collapse of the real estate market and the Savings and Loan industry took its toll, and Don had to restructure his business model. One of the most important skills Don learned at Harvard was the ability to focus on a goal; and he used that ability to accomplish his new goals.

When asked about the most significant event in his life, Don’s response was almost immediate. As I listened to the story I thought about the qualities of this man; his upbringing, work ethics, his compassion for his fellow man, his business acumen, his dedication to the Society of Exchange Counselors, and above all the meaning of friendship. The setting for the event was a boardroom at a Savings and Loan in Utah. Don and six other S.E.C. members were counseling with this S&L on how to solve their large REO holdings. At the same time a few hundred miles away Don’s closest friend and fellow S.E.C., Jim Farley, lay terminally ill in a hospital room. A phone call came for Don – it was from Jim Farley’s son telling Don that the family had made the decision to take Jim off life support and that it was likely that Jim would die that day. With a heavy heart, Don re-entered the boardroom to tell the others and from the lips of a man who hadn’t been in church in over 15 years came the words, “gentlemen can we stop and pray?” Don’s prayer asked for God to spare Jim’s life and Don’s promise that he would change his own life. Later that evening the men learned that after the life support was removed, Jim’s heart had gotten stronger, not weaker and no one could explain it! In a few weeks, Jim walked out of the hospital and lived three more years!

Don’s greatest event in the Society happened two years later in 1983, when he was presented the prestigious Counselor of the Year award. Although I am sure he was proud of his recognition in the real estate industry, I believe what made it so special to him was that it was presented to him by the prior year’s winner, Mr. Jim Farley, S.E.C. For all the tough times the 80’s brought, wonderful things kept happening to Don including his marriage to Jeanne in 1984. Jeanne brought four children of her own to their marriage so his new blended family now has thirteen grandchildren. Don survived the real estate crash and now works on projects that he enjoys. He loves to take on problem properties and help others work their way out of difficult situations. His many experiences in life have helped him form basic philosophies he lives by:

  • Leave everything & everyone better because of your involvement or your relationship
  • Protect the rights of everyone involved
  • Never rape and pillage a project
  • Never overstate values
  • Never say yes, when you should say no
  • Go fly fishing anytime you can, and never get married to any thing except your wife!

Don DuBeau, S.E.C., has been active in the Real Estate Investment and Exchange Counseling business since 1967, and active in Local, Regional and National Real Estate organizations for over 35 years. He is a Past President of the Society of Exchange Counselors Mr. DuBeau is also actively involved in Conservation Land Development and Investment Counseling.


  1. What a pleasure to read about Donald DuBeau.
    I have recently had a short visit with Don and look forward to a business relationship with a man of integrity.
    Richard Margulis
    Margulis Homes
    Affordable homes in Clearlake, CA.

  2. I have met the man and he is what this page discusses. I am planning on doing business with him and look forward to a good personal relationship as well.
    Peter Carissimo CEO , ASA
    Atlantic & Pacific Realty Advisors LLC
    National Real Estate Consultants and Advisors