Brandis Knudsen

Meet Brandis Knudsen! He is the Director of Small Business Development and Investor Relations for Elevate Rapid City. Brandis is a Dad to Riley whom is a Senior at Stevens & plans to join the Air Force. Brandis also is an award winning Hip Hop Artist and runs an independent record lable which enables him to manage and promote other artists. Read below to learn more about Brandis!
Q. Please tell us a little bit about your family.*
I live with my son Riley, who is a Senior at Stevens and our min-pin, Reese’s. Riley plans to enlist in the Air Force after graduation.


Q. Please tell us about your current career. Thing you love most about what you do.*
I am the Director of Small Business Development and Investor Relations for Elevate Rapid City. I love having the opportunity to meet so many people throughout our community and learn about their businesses while being able to offer them an opportunity to grow their business and invest in their community.


Q. What inspired you or led you to your current career?*
The vision of Elevate Rapid City inspired me to accept a position with the Chamber of Commerce prior to the merger, which led me to where I am at today. It has been a rewarding transition for me to be able to work with our local businesses and community to help elevate Rapid City for everyone.


Q. What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
There are so many great local restaurants in Rapid City that I am sure I will miss some that I truly enjoy, but the first few that come to mind are the Colonial House, The Wine Cellar, Botticelli, and Jambonz.


Q. How long have you lived or worked in our community?
I’ve lived in Rapid City multiple times throughout my life, but I have been back for almost 18 years now.


Q. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
That is a very hard question for me to answer, because I have the opportunity to meet so many people in our community and when you have the opportunity to hear the stories that led them to where they are today it is always interesting. One person I met recently was Jerry Sailer at Black Hills Contraband, who definitely had some interesting stories to share.


Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Currently we are working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I look forward to being able to travel safely to the office and to visit businesses throughout our community again but past that I have several international destinations I would like to visit during my lifetime.


Q. What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
The last movie I saw in theaters was The Joker, which I thought was a great movie. How I Met Your Mother has always been one of my all-time favorite TV shows.


Q. What advice would you give to people?
In these times, I think it is important to remain positive, remind each other to be kind and to support one another including our small and local businesses.


Q. What is something on your bucket list?
I had planned to go on a cruise line for the first time later this year, unfortunately that will probably have to be postponed at this time.


Q. What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
I listen to all genres of music, so when I can’t decide what to listen to I simply turn my playlist to shuffle.


Q. What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
There are several businesses that are no longer in our community that I associate with the nostalgia of growing up in Rapid City such as Shakey’s, Gigglebee’s, Express Burger, Marine Life, and The Thrillers.


Q. If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
Based of the given criteria, I would chose to have lunch with Pat Riley at Dakotah Steakhouse. When I was growing up, my dad was a basketball coach and a lot of my childhood memories revolve around the sport, whether it was playing basketball, watching basketball, or going with my dad to practices and games. My dad’s favorite NBA team was the Los Angeles Lakers. Eventually I would became a Lakers fan too. I remember watching almost every Lakers game that was broadcast with my dad when I was a young boy and when the Lakers would play in Los Angeles, those where the only nights I got to stay awake past my bedtime. Pat Riley played for the Lakers in the 70’s and was also their coach in the 80’s during their “Showtime” era when they won 4 championships. He is also the first sports figure to win at all levels, as a player, assistant coach, head coach, and as an executive. In addition to his success on the court, he has also wrote two New York TImes bestsellers, had his own video game, made a cameo in a TV series and as a model, and is a motivational speaker. Because of his success on and off the court in addition to watching him for a decade with my father growing up, Pat Riley was the inspiration behind my son’s first name, Riley. His middle name is also Bryant after Kobe. My son would also grow up to be a Lakers fan and some of our best memories have too revolved around the game of basketball.


Q. What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
There is a lot of great things to love about our community from the Black Hills to downtown Rapid City, but what I like most is that we have urban amenities with rural hospitality. Also, as someone who travels often, I’m always reminded how much I appreciate that you can get to any destination within Rapid City limits in 15 minutes or less.


Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
Over the course of my professional career, I have learned that if I were to look back at this answer in 5 to 10 years and had answered it correctly I have not grown enough as a person or a professional and have taken a path of least resistance. I want to constantly push myself to the level and accept whatever challenges I have the opportunity to peruse. In 5 to 10 years, I want to be doing something I could not imagine doing today.


Q. (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that when I was a little kid, I wanted to be a country singer.
Also, that I put my first Hip Hop Album out in 2012, another in 2016 and a single in 2018  & have won a total of 7 music awards.


Q. What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
The Bioluminescent Bay in Puerto Rico.


Q. If you were cast in a movie and could choose your costar, who would it be?
That would depend on the plot of the movie.


Q.Favorite month? holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
December, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, which is also my birthday.


Q. What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
There’s no such thing as perfection, but in striving for it we can reach excellence.


Q. Who inspires you to be better?
My son has always been my inspiration to continue to be better than I was yesterday.


Q. What is one or two of your favorite smells?
Lilac Trees. They remind me of my grandmas house when I was a little kid.


Q. If a movie was made of your life, who would you want to play you?
My son.


Q. Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Family, Comfort, and Peace.

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