PRAGER-DRESCHER--Alice H., 83, died on February 12, 2014, former Chairman of SESAC Inc., one of three U.S. Performing Rights Organizations. Born on August 2, 1930, in New York City, NY, Alice was the only child of the founder of SESAC, Mr. Paul Heinecke and his wife Ruth. Born at the same time as SESAC was founded, she was exposed to the music industry from a very early age. She was trained by her parents to assume the top command at SESAC. Following her graduation from college in 1951, (holding a BA degree in radio and television from Russell Sage College, Troy, New York, and completed graduate work at New York University's Graduate School of Business Administration), she worked in virtually all departments of SESAC and traveled extensively throughout the country and the world, calling on television and radio stations and representatives abroad. As a young woman, she travelled in post-war Europe and Israel to assist artists who had been displaced and whose artists' rights were in question. Within SESAC, Alice moved from administration and sales, vice president and managing director, president, and was elevated to the post of Chairman in April, 1978. In 1964, Alice and her late husband, George L. Drescher, founded The Personal Touch, a nationally recognized product promotion firm. Throughout her entire life, Alice was extremely active and was a member or served on boards of numerous organizations such as the International Radio and Television Society, the American Institute of Management, the American Women in Radio and Television, the International Association of Women in Radio and Television the Advertising Women of New York, Broadcast Pioneers, Women's Forum, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and was a lifetime member of both the Country Music Association and the Gospel Music Association. She was made an honorary citizen of the States of Tennessee and Florida and was named an honorary Kentucky Colonel. She was the founder of the Duke Ellington Cancer Center, which established a cancer screening center for performing artists at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital's Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. She spent time in her homes in Manhattan, Westhampton Beach, Key West, and Positano. In Key West she was on the board of directors of the Key West Art and Historical Society and the Waterfront Theater. Alice was listed in the National Register of Prominent Americans and International Notables, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who in Business and Commerce, Foremost Women in Communications, and innumerable music industry trade references. She died a resident of Florida surrounded by loved ones. She will be remembered as an extraordinary woman who was active and devoted to broadcast, advertising, and music sectors. She will be remembered by many and greatly missed by all who knew her.
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Published in The New York Times on Feb. 23, 2014