President's New Freedom
Waltraud E. Prechter
Waltraud ("Wally") Prechter is President of the Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression. For a quarter century, she served as the closest business advisor and confidant to her late husband and entrepreneurial visionary Heinz C. Prechter, quietly building the business empire that was Prechter Holdings.
Driven by the spirit of giving back to the community, the Prechter family established the World Heritage Foundation, a philanthropic entity dedicated to helping make a difference in the areas of health, education, welfare, arts and culture, and the community. In addition, the foundation fosters innovative public and private sector partnerships, entrepreneurial development, and German American relations. Mrs. Prechter has served as President of the World Heritage Foundation since its inception in 1985.
Mrs. Prechter has been a positive force in her community, state, and country. She serves in leadership positions in numerous civic and charitable organizations, including the University of Michigan Health Care Advisory Board and President's Advisory Group; the Leukemia Society; the Kresge Eye Institute; the Robert and Gerry Ligon Research Center of Vision; Wayne State University's Detroit Medical Center Women's Clinical Services Board; Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital; Detroit Symphony Orchestra; and the Downriver Council for the Arts.
A strong advocate of health education for many years, she established the Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression in memory of her late husband Heinz C. Prechter to help develop a cure for bipolar disorder. Mr. Prechter suffered from intermittent bouts of manic depression for most of his adult life and fell victim to suicide on July 6, 2001. In addition, she was instrumental in establishing the Depression Center at the University of Michigan, the first of its kind in the nation.
Born in the Nuremberg region in southern Germany, Mrs. Prechter attended the University of Erlangen. She came to the United States in 1977 and completed her education at the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with honors. She became a U.S. citizen in 1985. A resident of Grosse Ile, Michigan, she is parent to adult twins.