About Our Trustees

CharlieCharles A. Haas, President

Charlie was born in, N.Y. He is a retired teacher of English and journalism. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Rider University in Lawrenceville, N.J., and a master’s degree from William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. He lives in Randolph, N.J. Charlie’s interest in ships was sparked by his grandfather, who worked in the management of a New York stevedoring company. He introduced Charlie to ocean liners through the windows of his office, which overlooked New York Harbor. His grandfather also loaned him a copy of A Night to Remember, thus beginning a lifelong interest in the Titanic. In high school and college, he studied microfilm of newspapers’ coverage of the disaster. His particular interests are the ship’s features, exploration of the wreck, the state of the wreck and the artifacts. He is also interested in Cunard, White Star and other British shipping companies. Charlie is a co-founder of TIS and longtime trustee. He served as editor of its journal, Voyage, since the group was founded until 2006, when he became president of TIS. A lifetime highlight was making dives to the Titanic wrecksite in 1993 and 1996. He narrated the program “Titanic: Untold Stories,” was a member of the 1998 expedition to the wreck, and contributed to the design of artifact exhibits up until 2000. With co-author John P. Eaton, he has written five books: Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, Titanic: Destination Disaster; Titanic, The Exhibition; Titanic: A Journey Through Time; and Falling Star: Misadventures of White Star Line Ships.

Robert L. Bracken, Treasurer

brackenBob, born in Pa. is a retired teacher of social studies. He taught in Ridgewood, N.J. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., and a master’s degree from Syracuse University. Bob, who lives in Midland Park, N.J., has two children and two grandchildren. At the age of 11, he read A Night to Remember, sparking his interest in the Titanic. His special interest is the passengers, and he has researched them for many years. He has been a TIS member since 1990 and a trustee since 1996. He became treasurer in 2003. Bob has written many articles on the passengers in Voyage, the TIS journal, and a passenger list he developed has been published and used in exhibits in Europe.

John Paul Eaton, Historian

jackJack is a retired admitting officer for Roosevelt Hospital in New York. He lives in Cold Spring, N.Y. He is particularly interested in the Titanic’s crew and ships that played a role in the Titanic story. Another interest is the Wilhelm Gustloff. Jack is a co-founder of TIS and a longtime trustee and historian for the group. He has served as historical consultant to expeditions to the wrecksite in 1993, 1996 and 1998 and made a dive to the wreck in 1993. He contributed to the design of artifact exhibits before 2000, including for RMS Titanic, Inc., and the Maryland Science Center. He has appeared in many TV documentaries and written numerous articles for Voyage, the TIS journal. With his co-author Charles Haas, he has written five books: Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy, Titanic: Destination Disaster; Titanic, The Exhibition; Titanic: A Journey Through Time; and Falling Star: Misadventures of White Star Line Ships.

Stephen Frazee,  Media Contact sfrazee@rogers.com   

 Stephen was born in Quebec, and is a real estate broker with RE/MAX in Toronto, Canada. He earned a bachelor’s degree from York University in Toronto, and has two children, Laura and Patrick. He has been a member of  TIS since 1994 and became a trustee in 2010, handling membership development. Stephen has a personal connection to the Titanic. His great-uncle, Weston Frazee, was traveling in Europe in 1912 with his close friend George Wright, a prominent businessman in Halifax, Canada. Wright had plans to travel on the Titanic and wanted Frazee to join him, but Frazee needed to return to Canada earlier, so booked passage on the Laurentic. Wright died in the Titanic sinking and Weston Frazee was asked to be on the committee overseeing the burial of victims in Halifax. Stephen is interested in preserving memories of the Titanic, and also has an interest in the Empress of Ireland sinking, Canada’s worst peacetime maritime disaster. He enjoys taking cruises and plans at least one vacation aboard ship every year. He has written two articles on the Empress of Ireland for the TIS journal Voyage.

 

 


Barbara Shuttle, Editor, Voyage

BarbBarb, born in Pa., is a real estate paralegal in Erie, Pa., where she lives with her fiance, John. Barb’s interest in Titanic began while watching a Discovery Channel program in 1997. The program revealed that letters written by the family of her ex-husband Dave Shuttle had been recovered from the wrecksite. She is particularly interested in Titanic salvage issues. A member of TIS since 1997, she was elected a trustee in 2003 and served as corporate secretary from 2003-2006. She has been assistant editor of Voyage since 1999 and is now editor. She helped organize two conferences in the Cleveland, Ohio, area, co-chaired TIS conventions in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, Ill., and has given slide presentations to schools and organizations in the Erie area, including the Maritime Museum. Along with ex-husband Dave, she researched the story of Pearl Shuttle, Howard Irwin and Henry Sutehall and how the family letters came to be aboard Titanic.

Craig A. Sopin, Corporate Secretary

craigsopinCraig was born in Pa., where he still lives. He and his wife,Ruth, have a son, Robert. He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Philadelphia University and a Juris Doctor degree from Widener University School of Law. He is an attorney. His interest in Titanic began as a child when he became fascinated by an old newspaper headline he read on microfilm at the local library. Even then, he was fascinated by the microcosm of society, the bravery and the cowardice that came together in the Titanic story. His interest covers all aspects of Titanic, and has expanded to include the rescue ship Carpathia, the role of the Marconi wireless and the recovery of bodies. He has been a member of TIS since 1995 and of the British Titanic Society since about 1997. He became a TIS trustee in 2007. Craig collects Titanic memorabilia, and has been consulted by museums, auction houses, dealers, collectors and the media about artifact authenticity, provenance and valuations. He has written articles about artifacts and authored or contributed to sales catalog descriptions and provenance packages for major sales. Items from his collection have appeared in books, media and museums worldwide. He guest-curated the Titanic exhibition at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia in 2004-5 and is co-writing a book entitled The Ultimate Guide to Authentic Titanic Collectibles.

3 thoughts on “About Our Trustees

  1. Hi there.
    My name is Joshua Budgell and I have a life ring marked “RMS TITANIC” it is very old and tattered.
    The inside seems to be made of some kind of cork and it is wrapped in some sort of cloth material.
    I am just wondering if you or someone you may be affiliated with may be interested in authenticating it for me and maybe even buying it, if it’s in fact real?
    I can send you some pictures once I receive a response from you.
    Cheers
    Josh

  2. Hi my father in law and i have a genuine 1st class egg cup which was taken off the Titanic by a steward before it left for the maiden voyage.
    It is what the collectors call the wisteria pattern in the turquoise colour.
    It is in lovely condition and states stonier and co and is dated 03/1912
    Is there a collector who may be interested in it?
    We paid a lot of money for it some years ago and it comes with a note of its history.
    Many thanks in advance.
    C.Green

    • Hi Mr.Green,

      When I flew to Paris for the airing of the “Return To the Titanic Live” TV show for the first recovery expedition, I had 3 pieces of Titanic china that were sold to me, that were given to people on land before the ship sailed (same last china production date). Two were lost that I left on the back shelf of the Paris taxi when changing hotels. The cab driver drove off after I just got my bags out. A day was spent trying to connect with the cab company. Even an appeal to the Paris media (newspaper did an account) got no response. They just vanished. Sadly did not have my name or biz card on the box. In the end, I did have personal household insurance and did get (if memory is correct) maybe $14,000, half or less of the reported value. Even more to how I got these, which is a howl too. Yes, never know what surfaces, and even 100 or more years later, people have found more photos of Titanic (snap shots and personal postcards) of her in Southampton and sailing, forgotten in old books as book marks or whatever. Reason, before tossing anything, have to check things out.

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