GE Appliance Panelists

Chen Lu, IDSA
Lead UI/UX Designer
GE Appliances

Chen Lu, IDSA, is a lead UI/UX designer on the Concept and Brand team at GE Appliances. He is in charge of designing the interaction between appliances and users through product interfaces and mobile apps. He works closely with product management and technology to develop feasible, viable and desirable user experiences.

Lu earned an MA in industrial design from Savannah College of Art and Design and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Shandong University, China. His hybrid background gives him extra perspectives when engaging wicked problems. In his spare time, he loves building robots and other interactive gadgets.


Maggie Bellinger, IDSA
Lead Designer
GE Appliances

Maggie Bellinger, IDSA, is a lead designer on the Concept and Brand team at GE Appliances. She is responsible for the research and evaluation of color, material and finish of existing and future products. In addition, Bellinger has collaborated with multiple university design programs by leading sponsored design projects focused on innovating appliances and improving health and wellbeing in the home.

She earned a BSID from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). Upon graduation, she started her own small business, offering design services to a variety of clients including Dell, Inc.

Collectively, Bellinger has more than seven years of experience in product development, packaging design, retail design and end-to-end customer experience.


Rebecca Alvord, IDSA
Senior Industrial Designer
GE Appliances

Rebecca Alvord, IDSA, is a senior industrial designer on the Concept & Brand Team at GE Appliances. Through extensive consumer and trend research analysis, she is responsible for defining and executing cross product branding initiatives for GE Monogram and identifying new business opportunities to further develop.

With more than 11 years of product development experience, Alvord has led design efforts for GE Appliances refrigeration, dishwasher and cooking product lines and holds several patents.

She serves as Chapter VP IDSA’s Board of Directors. In 2013, she led the formation of the IDSA Kentucky Chapter, of which she served as chair from 2013-2015. She is also a lead organizer for the Louisville Mini Maker Faire. Alvord holds a BSID from Western Washington University.


Karen Abney, IDSA
Lead User Interaction Designer
GE Appliances

Karen Abney, IDSA, has been a designer of some sort for more than 30 years. Beginning as a graphic designer, she transitioned into roles as an environmental graphic designer, museum and exhibit designer and—after a return to academia—became a lead user interaction designer for GE Appliances. She worked in firms in Ohio, Texas, Illinois and Kentucky and  owned an award-winning design and marketing firm for 18 years.

At GEA, Abney works to create the best user experiences for all customers by having a thorough understanding of trends in the marketplace, new technologies and consumer research. She attended Designation Labs Accelerated Learning Program and the School for Digital Craftsmanship at ADMCi in Chicago.


Marc Hottenroth, IDSA
Director, Industrial Design 
GE Appliances a Haier Company

Marc Hottenroth, IDSA, is the director of industrial design at GE Appliances, which recently invested more than one billion dollars in revitalizing its product portfolio, then was acquired by Haier. During this strategic shift, Hottenroth and his team of industrial, interaction and human factors designers lead the end-to-end design development with focus on a human-centered innovation process.

His design expertise spans appliances, lighting and electrical distribution products for North American and Asian markets. The UC DAAP alum has earned many awards in recognition of his efforts including two, Gold, IDSA International Design Excellence Awards and holds numerous utility patents.


Byron Dollar, IDSA
Lead Industrial Designer
GE Appliances

Byron Dollar, IDSA, is a lead industrial designer on the NPI team at GE Appliances. He navigates parameters set by the business, suppliers and manufacturing to apply a visual brand language to products while solving problems for the consumer.

He graduated from Appalachian State University with a BSID, after interning with the Concept and Brand Team at GE.


Aaron Abbott, IDSA
Senior Industrial Designer
GE Appliances

Aaron Abbott, IDSA, is a senior industrial designer for the Product Design Team at GE Appliances. He is responsible for leading all product development for GE Appliances laundry product.

With more than 12 years of experience, Abbott has also led product development efforts at GE Appliances on Monogram refrigeration, filtration and air conditioning products. Previously, he managed a product design team at Ames, leading a large-scale brand design project that won an IDSA IDEA Bronze for Design Strategy.

He also worked as the lead industrial designer at Gentex Corp., designing and developing aviation equipment and fighter pilot helmets for the US Armed Forces. Abbott holds a BSID from UCDAAP.


Career Advice for Every Designer
Presented by GE Appliances

Join us for a lively discussion of career advice from a panel of seven designers—with a wide range of experience levels. We asked each designer to thoughtfully share career-shaping experiences and things that they “wished they had known.” You’ll hear insights about navigating the corporate culture, learning from freelancing and owning your own design practice.  Come with questions—nothing is off limits!