FRI AM News: WisBusiness: the Podcast with Matt Nash, Kairos Technologies; Talking Trade with Diane Farrell, deputy undersecretary for international trade, U.S. Department of Commerce

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Matt Nash, president of Kairos Technologies. 

This recently launched subsidiary of WPS Health Solutions is a product development incubator that will use the “venture studio” model to develop tech-based solutions for the health care space. 

Nash discusses the roots of the effort within WPS, which identified a need for payers in the health care sector to connect with providers and patients in new ways. He said the company had been doing “a lot of interesting work” internally to “enable a better health care journey.” 

“But we were trying to solve, I think at some point, larger problems than the inside mission of WPS, our parent company,” he said. “So it became really clear to us really early on that we needed an operationally independent arm to innovate, develop new products, services and programs.” 

Within the technology field, Kairos will focus on data science and artificial intelligence, Nash explained. His background is in software development, and others in the company are specialists in machine learning and data applications. 

“We work together to really try to leverage data,” he said. “We see a lot of untapped potential in health data. Not just for the use of the data that exists, but actually ways to make it more ethical to use it, so it’s not so invasive.” 

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— In the latest episode of “Talking Trade,” U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Undersecretary for International Trade Diane Farrell discusses the administration’s pandemic recovery efforts. 

“For those of us in the international sphere, it’s not just about building back better in the United States,” she said. “It’s about how do we strategize our economic recovery, how do we take advantage of opportunities overseas, and how are we also helping our foreign partners to recover from the global impacts of COVID.” 

Farrell also highlights agency efforts to ensure trade agreements establish a “level playing field” for U.S. companies. 

“We know that when the level playing field exists, our companies are extremely successful,” she said. 

She also said she’s “thrilled over the moon” about the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity recently announced by President Biden. She points to the “diverse markets” included in the framework such as Singapore, Japan, Australia, India, Malaysia and others. 

“Importantly, this is also an effort to start to truly address in a material way the impacts of climate change,” she said. “Another, of course, extremely important Biden-Harris administration priority, but one that folks in that region particularly have been impacted by.” 

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— Gov. Tony Evers has signed an emergency order aiming to eliminate baby formula price gouging in light of a supply shortage.

The order establishes a 90-day abnormal economic disruption period. According to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the guv must issue an executive order to put the state’s prohibition on price gouging into effect.

Once issued, the order prohibits retailers and wholesalers from selling goods for more than 15 percent higher than the price before the emergency. Without a gubernatorial order, DATCP doesn’t have the authority to address consumer complaints.

Evers in a statement said the order will discourage retailers from jacking up prices.

“As families continue to feel the squeeze of rising costs and folks face difficulty getting supplies and resources quickly, this order makes it clear that retailers looking to take advantage of vulnerable families during this formula shortage will not be tolerated,” the guv said.

Wisconsinites can file price-gouging complaints through the DATCP website or contact the Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128.

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— Marshfield Clinic Health System has broken ground on a new hospital in Wisconsin Rapids, the health system announced. 

The hospital — Marshfield Medical Center-River Region at Wisconsin Rapids — is scheduled to be finished in spring 2023. Plans include: inpatient beds; emergency department rooms; radiological services such as X-ray, computed tomography or CT scans, and ultrasound; as well as on-site lab testing. 

It’s being built at the existing Marshfield Clinic Wisconsin Rapids Center. Earlier this month, MCHS opened a new hospital in Stevens Point as well. 

“Like Stevens Point, we are going to bring acute care services here to Wisconsin Rapids,” said Gordon Edwards, MCHS chief operating and financial officer. “We think this brings an alternative care model to the community that integrates our ambulatory medical group practice with higher-end acuity services.”

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— Spike Brewing plans to build a $9 million solar-powered manufacturing facility in Milwaukee, according to a release from city officials. 

The brewing equipment manufacturer is buying the four-acre lot for the facility from the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee for $1, a release from the Milwaukee Department of City Development shows. 

The company plans to retain its 25 current employees and hire another 20, along with starting three new production lines. The new building will include temporary rental space for another business to start, though Spike Brewing says it plans to occupy the entire space at some point. 

Spike Brewing also plans to power the entire building with solar energy from a 25,000-square-foot rooftop solar array. 

Owner and founder Ben Caya said this decision was driven by environmental concerns. In an emailed statement, he explained the company is “trying to do our part” as the world transitions to cleaner energy sources. 

“The business case for solar is really hard to make. Best case estimates put us at roughly a 12 year payback period,” he said. “Investing $250,000+ for a 0% return in 12 years is a hard sell. However, we’re a small private company and we have the freedom to do what we believe in rather than just maximizing earnings for shareholders.” 

See the release: 


# Evers issues order prohibiting baby formula price gouging

# Wisconsin environmental regulators may begin crafting standards for E. coli bacteria in groundwater

# Milwaukee committee tables key agreement for RNC convention, may request $6M payment



– FarmFirst applauds U.S. action against Canada TRQs

– Bechel re-elected president of Wisconsin Cheese Makers


– Vassallo’s Drew Tower developer group buying two more nearby Wauwatosa houses


– Janesville bakers grapple with inflation costs just as busy cake season kicks into gear


– New state data underscores vaccine booster’s effectiveness in preventing severe COVID-19 illness, death

– Abortion access groups prepare free flights out of Wisconsin if Roe v. Wade is overturned


– Green Bay-based Tundra Angels goes private in bid to attract new investors


– Labor report: State farmhands paid $17.45 per hour

– Latino Chamber to open $5 millon training center in Fitchburg

– MKE Tech Hub Coalition, Luther Manor receive worker training grants


– Court declines to disturb Lake Michigan beach access ruling


– Spike Brewing will build $9 million facility in Estabrook Park neighborhood


– Milwaukee puts pause on 2024 RNC contract despite impending deadline

– Republican convention deal not dead despite Common Council committee action


– ‘Cash’ offers and cases of wine: Realtors in Milwaukee area get creative to clinch deals

– Texas company planning spec industrial buildings on Milwaukee’s far northwest side


– Tony Evers prohibits baby formula price gouging statewide under 90-day order


– Pick ‘n Save-anchored center in St. Francis sold after extending lease to 2034

– Downtown Sheboygan home goods store Nest relocates to Kohler’s Shops at Woodlake

– Milwaukee Night Market vendor lineup announced


– Poor broadband service in Wisconsin is far worse than previously estimated


– Cost of building power transmission line growing


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

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