Government Finance Officers Association, by Stephen Lisauskas

For over a century, the Government Finance Officers Association has improved how governments function by teaching public officials how to improve their skills and maximize their productivity. Through education, training, and networking, professionals learn ways to improve financial management and implement effective financial policies. To achieve its goals, the Government Finance Officers Association provides members with numerous resources. Recognized internationally for its expertise in public financial management, and the Association suggests policies and best practices for governments of every level in the United States and Canada. Along with promoting ethical and legal standards for those in public service, the Association offers leadership development programs that concentrate on management and technology. The Government Finance Officers Association also runs awareness campaigns to inform the public about the value of strong financial planning and the importance of fiscal policies. About the Author: A Senior Associate with the Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Stephen Lisauskas has spent much of his career in government. While serving as Executive Director of the Springfield Finance Control Board, Lisauskas earned two Distinguished Budget Awards from the Government Finance Officers Association.

A Brief History and Overview of Okinawa Kobudo By Stephen Lisauskas

Okinawan kobudo is a weapon-based traditional martial art. Since most written accounts of the art were destroyed during World War II, its origins remain elusive. As with many Eastern martial arts, kobudo masters deliberately confined the art to oral tradition, since only select individuals were allowed to train with weapons for most of its history.

According to legend and popular belief, Okinawan kobudo originated after 1477 when King So Shin banned weapons in Okinawa, the largest of the Ryukyu Islands and the southernmost prefecture of Japan. While the upper classes secretly learned and cultivated unarmed martial art forms, the agricultural and fishing populations developed their own secret combat styles using a wide variety of weapons. Some weapons, including the tonfa, kama, and nunchaku, may originate from antique farming tools. The recorded history of traditional kobudo begins in 1762 with Sakagawa Chikodun Peichin Kanga (1733-1815), also known by the nickname “Sakagawa Tode.”

Many Kobudo forms exist today, along with wide variety of weapons. The most popular kobudo forms practiced in Japan include Yamani Chinen Ryu Bojutsu, Matayoshi Kobudo, Ryukyu Kobudo Hozon Shinkokai Taira Shinken Kobudo, Ufuchiku Kobujutsu, and Kenshin Ryu Kobudo.

About the Author: Stephen Lisauskas, a Director, Instructional Supervisor, and Chief Instructor at the International Seirenkai Organization in Boston. In addition to Okinawa Kobudo, Mr. Lisauskas practices Jiu-Jitsu and Seirenkai Karate.

International Seirenkai Organization

Presently serving as a Senior Associate with the University of Massachusetts’ Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management, Stephen Lisauskas has a 12-year history in local and regional government administration. Outside of the professional arena, Stephen Lisauskas is a fourth-degree black belt in karate and a member of the International Seirenkai Organization’s Board of Directors.

Founded in 2008, the International Seirenkai Organization (ISO) was named after the traditional Japanese words “seiren” (integrity) and “kai” (association). The original leaders of this “association of integrity” had been working together in the fields of karate and jujitsu for over 40 years. Committed to preserving the physical integrity of these martial arts as “real, useful, and applicable,” the ISO currently teaches students throughout Asia, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

In addition to instructing students in the ways of Seirenkai Karate and Seirenkai Jujitsu, the organization also offers training in the traditional Okinawan and Japanese weapon-based martial art known as Kobudo. The ISO promotes inclusiveness and respect for all people. In this spirit, the organization is comprised of members from a wide range of religious and cultural and other backgrounds.

Stephen Lisauskas on the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

Stephen Lisauskas is a government administrator and finance expert who presently serves as a Senior Associate with the Edward J. Collins Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and as Vice President of Government Affairs for the waste reduction company WasteZero. As an undergraduate, his educational achievement as an engineering student earned Mr. Lisauskas membership in the national engineering honorary organization Tau Beta Pi.

Originally established in 1885 at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society currently has members at 238 American colleges and active alumni chapters in 59 cities across the country. The organization’s total number of initiates presently stands at 537,258.

Tau Beta Pi was incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization under the laws of Tennessee in December of 1947. Over the years, the group has established lasting partnerships and affiliations with several critical engineering associations including the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of Engineering Societies, and the Junior Engineering Technical Society. Tau Beta Pi is also a founding member of the Association of College Honor Societies.