Christmas tree hunting as a family out the road in 1998 with Emily Kallander, Rachel Kallander, and Jim Kallander. Photo courtesy of Rachel Kallander

As the holiday season brightens our days and we look forward to the new year, I’m filled with a sense of warmth and nostalgia. It’s this time of year that really highlights what’s so special about Cordova and Prince William Sound, reminding us of the memories that connect us all. 

Thinking back, I cherish those winter adventures with my family, especially our annual quest for the perfect Christmas tree, led enthusiastically by my late father, Jim Kallander. Those moments, full of laughter and joy, are treasured memories I carry with me. And then, there were the cozy afternoons spent baking pies at home, where my mother’s pie crust reigned supreme – a recipe I’ve come to realize is hers alone to perfect. 

Our thrilling sled rides down the ski hill, in fluffy snow or on sheets of ice, depending on the winter. And the meandering walks to Eccles Lagoon to visit my godparents. These are all integral parts of my Cordova story. We all have these core memories – some different and some the same. Over time, they make up the experiences that shape us. 

I know each of you has your own set of Cordova memories, moments that bind us together as a community. These memories, whether we’re near or have traveled far from home, are a comforting reminder of our shared roots and the community that has always supported us. This holiday season, as we create new memories, let’s also cherish the ones we’ve made. They’re our collective journey, the narrative of this place, and the spirit of community. I extend my heartfelt thanks to our readers, subscribers, advertisers, and partners. Your support is what keeps The Cordova Times thriving and deeply connected to our community. 

I am celebrating the holidays this year with my family in Anchorage, but I can’t wait to fly back home soon for the Iceworm Festival. Our team at The Cordova Times is thankful for all you’ve done to support the newspaper throughout 2023 and we look forward to what’s to come in 2024.  
Happy holidays to you and yours! Here’s to the memories we treasure and those we’ve yet to create in this incredible place and region that we call home. 

Rachel Kallander, a Cordova native and CHS graduate, is a lawyer and the CEO of Kallander & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in policy and strategic advocacy work across Alaska. As an impact advocacy coach and personal development retreat host, Rachel works closely with diverse political and entrepreneurial leaders. She is the founder and executive director of the Arctic Encounter, an NGO that hosts North America’s largest annual Arctic policy and business conference and events throughout the circumpolar north. Since acquiring The Cordova Times in July 2022, she has been focused on continuing the newspaper’s 109-year legacy of community-focused journalism. Additionally, Rachel serves as the Honorary Consul of Iceland to Alaska. She resides in Anchorage with her husband, Casey Pape, and their two children. 

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Rachel Kallander
Rachel Kallander was raised in Cordova and graduated from CHS. Rachel is CEO of Kallander & Associates, a consulting firm serving policy and business clients statewide. She is the founder and executive director of the Arctic Encounter – the largest annual Arctic policy conference in the U.S., with policy convenings and partnerships worldwide. Rachel also serves as the Honorary Consul of Iceland to Alaska. She lives with her husband, Casey Pape, and two young children in Anchorage.