FRI AM News: WisBusiness: the Podcast with Diamond McKenna of Diamond Assets; WisBusiness: the Show with Max Duckworth of MaSa Partners

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Diamond McKenna, CEO of Diamond Assets in Milton. 

The company provides technology consultation and recycling services to schools, businesses, health care providers, government entities and other customers. Diamond Assets operates in every U.S. state. 

“We thought we would test the market and see if it was really as feasible as we thought it would be, and it just grew,” she said. “In 2018, we were number seven on Inc.’s top-growing private business list. It’s really been a whirlwind. We do a lot of business in Wisconsin, but we’re all over the country.” 

While the company has since expanded to a wide array of industries, it got its start in the education space in 2014. 

“Education will always hold a special place in what we do,” she said. “It gave us our purpose and that purpose doesn’t go away. We want to make sure that kids and teachers have that equipment necessary to be productive.” 

McKenna also discusses how the business has been grappling with supply chain challenges, highlighting a shortage of box labeling materials. 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See the full list of podcasts: 

— In the latest episode of “ The Show,” MaSa Partners co-founder Max Duckworth talks about the Wisconsin-based “social impact” investing firm, what it looks for as it considers investments, and the emerging role of social impact investing.

The Show also previews upcoming Wisconsin Technology Council events. 

In the Tech Metrics section, Tech Council President Tom Still discloses a positive update in 2021 angel and venture capital investment figures for Wisconsin and discusses the group’s work on federal issues. 

Watch the show here: 

— We Energies says it will remain on track to hit environmental goals in the next decade despite pushing back the planned shutdown of four coal-fueled generation units at its Oak Creek plant. 

The utility company yesterday announced it will be delaying the retirement of two of the units by one year, until May 2024, while the retirement of the other two will be delayed about 18 months, until late 2025. According to a release, all four were built and began operating in the 1950s and 1960s. 

Scott Lauber, the company’s president, says two main factors are driving this decision: tight energy supply conditions in the Midwest, and supply chain issues that will likely delay commercial operation of renewable energy projects in the works. 

The company says it remains committed to reaching its goals of reducing CO2 emissions from 2005 levels by 60 percent by the end of 2025, and 80 percent by the end of 2030. 

“Because we plan to operate the older units at Oak Creek largely during the days of highest customer demand, we’re confident that we can remain on track to achieve these industry-leading targets,” Lauber said in the release. 

Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Tim Sheehy says the organization supports We Energies parent company WEC Energy Group as it moves to “ensure continued reliability amid shifting supply chain and regulatory conditions.” 

“While still working toward its important and ambitious renewable energy goals, this step to delay the phase out is prudent and responsive to concerns about reliability,” Sheehy said in a statement following the announcement. 

We Energies has more than 1.1 million electric customers and 1.1 million natural gas customers in the state. 

See the release: 

— MilliporeSigma has opened its new $65 million expanded facility in Verona, which is expected to bring 50 new jobs to the area. 

Through a new 70,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, the company says it will double production capacity for certain pharmaceutical ingredients at the site. 

Dirk Lange, head of life science services in the life science business sector of Merck KGaA, based in Germany, says demand is rising for the company’s “high-potent active pharmaceutical ingredients” or HPAPIs. 

“Lower-doses of these therapies reduce the negative side effects for patients who are taking on this critical fight,” Lange said in a release from the company. “Increasing capacity at our state-of-the-art facility in Verona, Wisconsin will allow us to meet the need for these key cancer treatment components.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has authorized up to $200,000 in state income tax credits the company can earn over a three-year period through job creation, according to a release from the agency. 

“This new facility is not only an investment in the region but a game-changer in supporting the treatment of cancer,” WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said.

See the release: 

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— Gov. Tony Evers has announced $6.6 million for workforce development projects across 12 counties in southwestern and central Wisconsin. 

Recipients include: Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, with up to $2.9 million in funding; Wisconsin Heights School District, up to $264,000; and Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, up to $3.5 million. 

The funding support projects providing youth apprenticeships, job training in advanced manufacturing and scholarships for students pursuing education careers, according to yesterday’s release from the guv’s office. It comes through the state’s Workforce Innovation Grant Program. 

Evers also recently announced up to $19.5 million in grants for other workforce-related efforts in 22 counties across the state’s northwestern, northern, northeastern and eastern regions. Recipients include: Lakeshore Technical College, with up to $1.7 million; the Wisconsin Forestry Center at UW-Stevens Point, up to $8 million; and Northwood Technical College, up to $9.8 million. 

See yesterday’s release: 


# MilliporeSigma unveils $65M expanded Verona space to meet need for alternative cancer therapies

# Kern Family Foundation commits $50 million over five years to Medical College of Wisconsin

# Utilities say Wisconsin coal plants will operate longer due to COVID-19 supply constraints



– Wisconsin specialty crop block grants awarded to 15 projects

– Jones to lead Greenstone Farm Credit Services 


– New Berlin contractor moving after building purchase


– Wisconsin limits doe tags in northern counties as hunters raise fears of overharvesting on public lands


– Wisconsin guardians frustrated over rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for kids under 5

– Ariens built a center in Brillion to provide subsidized daycare to employees. It’s working.

– Photos: Wisconsin’s youngest residents get their first COVID-19 shots


– Return-to-office is flattening as companies navigate employee pushback, commutes, higher gas prices

– Appleton Starbucks becomes the third in Wisconsin to successfully unionize after frustration with working conditions


– Feds accuse Harley-Davidson, Westinghouse of imposing illegal warranty terms on customers


– ON THE LEVEL: Stepping into executive director role, Pritzkow makes big plans for Wisconsin Building Trades Council


– Husco International embraces Afghan refugees as solution to workforce shortage

– A longtime Milwaukee manufacturing company is building a new plant in Menomonee Falls


– $6.6M coming to support apprenticeship, job and skills training projects


– Iron District MKE site sold to developers for $12.5 million

– Home sales drop in May statewide, locally


– Franchise Group considers significantly lowering Kohl’s bid, CNBC reports


– Lou Malnati’s to open location in Oak Creek this summer


– Brewers president of business operations discusses expensive reality of ballpark upgrades


– Marquette researcher wins $4.2M Department of Energy grant for tech that cuts release of methane

– Wisconsin BBB: Technology, COVID-19 has increased scams against individuals and businesses

– Allegheny Technologies, parent of former Ladish Co., moves headquarters, changes its name


– Air Canada resumes nonstop service between Milwaukee Mitchell and Toronto Pearson International


– Gas tax savings may not benefit consumers much, could negatively impact public works


– Utilities say Wisconsin coal plants will operate longer due to COVID-19 supply constraints


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

Rep. Armstrong: Appointed to WEDC Board

Security Health Plan: Names Dave Nyman as chief operating officer