Say hello to Zane Kahin, the 2021 Gerber Spokesbaby and the company’s very first Chief Growing Officer!
Even though he’s only seven months old, Zane Kahin already has a significant accomplishment on his résumé. As the 2021 Gerber Spokesbaby, he’s the first from Seminole County to win Gerber’s annual Spokesbaby Photo Search contest as well as the first winner to receive the honorary title of Chief Growing Officer (CGO).
It’s no surprise that Zane’s bubbly demeanor and infectious laughter melted the judges’ hearts. His parents, Erin and Micheal, call Zane their “little comedian” because, when he’s not giggling in his bouncer, he’s happily playing with his fur siblings, dogs Rexy and Liv.
Erin says Zane also enjoys watching sports with his parents. The question is: Which Florida team will Zane grow up to root for? Erin is a proud graduate of the University of Central Florida, and Micheal is a University of Florida alum.
“I think Zane will probably want to do what daddy wants to do when it comes to sports,” Erin admits with a laugh. “So it’ll be sad for me, but that’s okay.”
Zane may not have much time for watching sports, though, with the work he has ahead of him in the coming year. As the 2021 Gerber Spokesbaby, not only will he taste and review (to the best of his pre-vocal abilities) new baby-food products, but he will also be featured in Gerber’s social media and marketing campaigns and guest star as CEO for a day.
The perks of winning the Spokesbaby Photo Search are worth the work, though. Zane and his family received a $25,000 prize, free Gerber baby food for a year, and Gerber Childrenswear outfits for his role as CGO. Gerber will also design a unique bodysuit and T-shirt in Zane’s honor. With each purchase of this limited-edition outfit, Gerber will make a product donation to a nonprofit organization.
Against All Odds
Zane could be called a miracle baby. Erin was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2016 at 27 years old. Thankfully, she was declared cancer-free six months later, but the treatment she needed to undergo had the potential to impact her fertility.
“When I was diagnosed, the first conversation we had was about fertility and the treatment I was about to have,” Erin told TODAY show host Savannah Guthrie during her appearance on the morning program just before Zane was named the winner. “The treatment included chemotherapy, radiation, and a double mastectomy, which could impact becoming a mom.”
But, despite the pessimistic prognosis, Erin became pregnant with Zane naturally and, much to her and Micheal’s relief, had a smooth delivery on February 3, 2021.
“I was completely surprised when I found out that I was pregnant, and I was pretty much in shock, which quickly turned into excitement,” Erin says. “Fortunately, my medical history did not impact my pregnancy at all. I was declared high-risk at first so that Zane could be closely monitored, but I ended up having a near-perfect pregnancy.”
After Zane’s birth, Erin and Micheal had no intention of entering the Gerber contest until they came across a Facebook ad. Erin had seen 2020’s winner and thought she was adorable, so when
Erin saw the ad, she jokingly suggested to Micheal that they submit some photos of Zane. She didn’t expect him to respond, “Well, why not?”
So, on a whim, the Kahins entered the contest, but they had no clue Zane won until they were live on the TODAY show.
“It was really exciting,” Erin says. “It was also nerve-wracking because we thought we were just one of many families on the show. But when we were talking with them, they said, ‘What you don’t know is...’ And when they said that, I was thinking, ‘Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness!’ We were just really shocked.”
Enjoying the Seminole County Life
Erin and Micheal love taking Zane on walks in their lovely Winter Park neighborhood, which is located just within Seminole County’s borders. Erin jokes that if they wanted to go to Casselberry, all it would take is a stroll across the street!
Before moving to the home they built in Winter Park, the Kahins lived in a small apartment in downtown Orlando. Although their home was conveniently near Erin’s place of work, the busy city’s hustle and bustle made the couple long for an area with a more peaceful atmosphere.
“We found our neighborhood because we have some friends who live in the area, and Micheal’s parents aren’t very far,” Erin says. “So it’s nice to be close to family and friends. Winter Park has a calmer lifestyle, but it’s still centrally located so that we’re close enough to our jobs.”
Now, with Zane winning this year’s Spokesbaby Photo Search and all the fame that comes with it, the Kahins are especially grateful for their community’s relaxed ambiance.
“We’re still embracing everything that’s happened within the last year for us, for Micheal and I as a family and welcoming Zane,” Erin says. “And now, we’re just looking forward to the year ahead for Zane as the Spokesbaby and getting to be a part of the Gerber family.”
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