C. Beth DunCombe

June 4, 1997

by John Gallagher, MetroTimes

To the uninitiated, C. Beth DunCombe merely the Mayor Archer's sister-in-law, but this seriously understates both her talents and her influence. A native of Detroit, DunCombe attended Cass Tech, the University of Michigan and Georgetown University's law school. She went to work for Dickinson, Wright in 1974, and in 1981 became one of the first African American women to make partner at a major Detroit law firm.

Over the years DunCombe represented a vast array of business clients — the Somerset Collection, Fred Sanders, McLouth Steel, Holiday Inn. She served as treasurer of Archer's '93 campaign for mayor. He later named her to head the influential Detroit Economic Growth Corp., the agency that oversees most new development in the city.

Ferociously loyal to the mayor, DunCombe knows anyone and everyone who matters in Detroit development. From her position at the Economic Growth Corp., she can shape deals on stadiums, casinos, riverfront development and just about everything else. She is, without question, among the most influential non-elected powers in the city.