The Chair of the Weidner Rescuers Prize Committee, Michael Guillaume Besançon, is the son of Guillaume Besançon, who escaped from occupied Holland with the help of John Weidner and the Dutch-Paris escape line. Michael became personal friends with John in the late 1970s after John sent him a signed copy of “Flee the Captor”. Like John and Naomi Weidner, Michael owned Natural/health food stores in Southern California. He is the retired Senor Global V.P. of Purchasing, Marketing/Communication and Distribution for Whole Foods Market. A dedicated environmentalist and advocate for animal welfare and the rights of workers, Michael holds an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from EARTH University, Costa Rica where he has also served on the EARTH University Foundation Board for the last 10 years.