People Change The World, Not Governments or CompaniesUncommon Truth No. 87

Who We Are


We are students of people and their behaviors. We bring grounded business strategy and creative design thinking together to solve our client’s biggest challenges. And we look at the world from these two very unique points of view to develop uncommon brands, products and experiences that create real value.


Our Story

Hugh “Bulldog” Drummond was a fictional English detective who spent his life on the relentless pursuit of truth and happiness. Bulldog Drummond started life 20 years ago as a creative boutique in San Diego, founded by a Brit who had fond memories of reading these books as a child, and who was affectionately called Bulldog by his nanny. Over the past 15 years, we have been on a path to become an internationally recognized innovation and design consultancy. We push the boundaries of what’s possible, artfully applying the practice of Uncommon Sense in search of the truth.

Our Values

Curious. We are fascinated by people and the search for what’s next. We look, listen and ask a lot of questions. Resourceful. We are inventive and fast on our feet. Determined. We’re deliberate and never give up. No Bullshit. We say it like it is and challenge others to do the same. Humble. We’re down to earth and don’t take ourselves too seriously. Optimistic. We believe that together we can change the world.

Our People

We are a team of business leaders, design thinkers, writers and brand strategists committed to doing things in uncommon ways.


Shawn E. Parr


As the Guvner and CEO of Bulldog Drummond, Shawn is responsible for strategically directing each of Bulldog’s key engagements, ensuring there’s an “Uncommon Sense” methodology at the center of everything the company does. This approach maintains that the biggest opportunities can be realized, and the most complex challenges solved, by using a powerful combination of simplicity, common sense and determination. He brings twenty-plus years of innovation, design, brand and business-building experience to companies from Fortune 500s to purpose-driven startups.

Shawn helps leadership teams transform large, multinational companies and passionate entrepreneurs launch new companies, products and brands. He has worked with executive teams at companies including Adidas, Bolthouse Farms, CMT, Diageo, Eddie Bauer, Heineken, H&R Block, IDEO, MTV, Mattel, Nike, PIRCH, Starbucks, Samsung, Taco Bell, WD-40, Westfield and World Vision among many others.

Following a life-changing trip to Malawi in March of 2004, Shawn has become committed to finding creative and sustainable ways to make a measurable difference in the world by helping people and companies realize their full potential. He sits on the board of The Honest Kitchen, the advisory boards of FEED Projects and International Farming, is the co-founder of YouSchool and Y-Malawi? and a faculty member of The Honor Foundation. He writes feverishly for Fast Company, PSFK and is a sought-after speaker. Shawn lives in San Diego with his wife and three children, is a dawn patrol surfer, wanna-be photographer and avid cultural voyeur.

Read Shawn's Uncommon Sense Articles >

Megan Pilla

Chief Content Officer

Megan is a storyteller at heart. She believes that grounded, strategic, and compelling narratives have the power to help solve the world's biggest challenges. She leads Bulldog's strategic and creative development teams, and has worked with many cross-functional client teams in categories from fashion & retail to food, sports, and healthcare. Megan has worked with early stage startups to Fortune 500s including American Eagle, Starbucks, McDonald's, Nestlé, Heineken, IDEO, Nike, WD-40, Hampton, MTV, Diageo, Mattel, Sony, Adidas, Taco Bell, Eddie Bauer, World Vision and more. She wakes up every day to help unlock the potential of companies and people because she believes that regardless of how well an organization is doing today, there's always an opportunity to do better.


Read Megan's Uncommon Sense Articles >

Erin Kaplan

VP, Brand and Innovation Strategy

Erin understands how to get to the point and takes great joy in challenging assumptions, asking tough questions and uncovering the simple truths for our clients. Maybe that’s the reason she loves being a mom—her daughters’ curiosity and constant use of the question “Why?” remind her of her own. Which means, as the lady in charge of leading the Discovery phase of our work, she’s perfectly suited for her job. From working with our research partners, to sitting down with customers, to picking the brains of our clients’ own team members—she digs deep into the problems clients come to us with to reveal opportunities that unlock true potential. When Erin isn’t at the office, you’ll find her with her family living the San Diego dream—and enjoying every moment of it. Her clients have included CMT, Sony, Virgin, Lee Jeans, Jack-in-the-Box, Westfield, WD-40 and Mattel among others.

Erin Borawski

Brand & Innovation Strategist

Erin is a strategist at heart—she's meticulous, pragmatic and always up for a good challenge. Whether she's reorganizing her closet to fit another pair of ballet flats, devising a plan to keep her two toddlers busy during a three hour flight, or calculating her next move in Words With Friends, she carefully assesses each situation to determine optimal solutions. Erin brings this methodical perspective to every project she works on. She's a writer, a thinker and even a designer in a pinch. You'll find her diving into consumer research in the morning, developing names for new-to-market products after lunch, and crafting a brand story in the afternoon. Erin lends her talents to a wide range of projects for clients such as American Eagle Outfitters, Starbucks, Diageo, Eddie Bauer, Jack in the Box and more.

Dave Alder

President, Media and Entertainment

Dave plays a key role in uncovering consumer insights and working to bring a very clear customer point of view to every project. He is a brand veteran with 21 years of experience at the senior executive level within the Virgin Group of companies and held the position of Chief Marketing Officer of its entertainment division for his last seven years with them. A former Bulldog Drummond client, Dave became part of our team in 2008. He has extensive international experience, having worked in Japan, Australia, Canada, Ecuador, The Netherlands, France, South Africa and the UK in the entertainment, media, retail and leisure categories. As an independent strategist, his clients have included Universal, Jabra, Forever 21, Hard Rock, Motown, Virgin Unite, Ace Cider, Capitol Records and Iron Maiden’s beverage brand, Trooper Beer.

Read Dave's Uncommon Sense Articles >

Garrett Patz

Design Director

Garrett has been interested in creating things for as long as he can remember and has long been inspired by the Carl Sagan quote, "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." He hates closed-mindedness, and loves the power of branding and the inherent value a struggle can provide. Focused, fastidious and quietly confident, his aesthetic is driven by his passion for honest and thoughtful design and he is naturally drawn to grids, structure and geometric forms. When he's not bringing people together through design or photography, he enjoys spending time with his family of four, hiking throughout Southern California and venturing on road trips to explore new destinations. Garrett has worked on projects for Diageo, HBO, 7-11, Campbell's, Anchor Brewing, Bumblebee, Petco, and more. 

Brett Jorgensen

Senior Designer

Although he hails from Arizona, Brett is all about the ocean—the smell of a freshly waxed surfboard, the wind in his face, and a fast clip on a sailboat. And if he’s not in the water, you’ll find him scouring estate sales to find nautical treasures, running with the bulls in Tijuana, and customizing his ever-growing collection of bicycles. A type fanatic, music aficionado, and self-proclaimed people watcher, he combines all these passions to influence his work, believing that great design and communication, when applied appropriately, can improve all aspects of life. Brett lends his talents to such clients as H&R Block, Diageo, Lotus Foods, Adidas, Beam and more.

Katie Schultz

Senior Designer

Katie may call San Leandro home, but she's an everyday adventurer and traveler having trekked all over the world, from Australia to Peru and Alaska to Guatemala. A natural hand-crafter, she is a lover of design, doodling and anything with polka dots. When she's not at work you'll either find her at the farmers’ market, creating her next hand-crafted project, or checking out the coolest new band you haven't heard of yet. She's an enthusiastic, eclectic and versatile go-getter with an infectious smile, and her ultra-organized nature and self-starter attitude make her a natural addition to our Design team. Katie lends her talents to clients like Lotus Foods, Petco, Diageo, Campbell’s and many more.

Colleen McGahey

Production Director

Colleen has lived on three continents and in five states, but has finally planted roots in San Diego. She's a big proponent of hashtags, she's the bartender for our Red Cup Fridays, and if you want to know the newest place to eat or what's going on this weekend, she's the girl to ask. A mover and a shaker, she's not one to sit still for long—she's kissed the Blarney Stone, walked on a volcano, jumped off cliffs and swam with wild dolphins in Hawaii, climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, ascended the Eiffel Tower, frolicked through tulip gardens in Holland and sailed to Gilligan's Island. It's this adventurous spirit that inspires Colleen to tackle the diverse and challenging jobs that come her way each and every day leading our Production team. She has worked on projects for Diageo, FEED, Earnest Eats, Starbucks, Adidas and more.

Kristen McKellogg

Production Designer

Kristen is one of those rare San Diego natives. She’s a lover of great design in all areas—be it furniture, fonts, film or fashion—and as a result, she brings a fresh perspective (and super cute outfits) to the Bulldog team. Kristen is obsessed with stripes, vinyl records, making lists, and anything from the ‘60s. When she’s not designing at the office, you’ll most likely find her still designing. A self-proclaimed movie geek, she loves creating posters for some of her favorite French New Wave films, like Day for Night and Stolen Kisses. When she can manage to tear herself away from her computer, she’s either running through San Diego, crashing parties in L.A. to meet British lead singers, or baking something delicious (a pastime of which we are huge supporters, for obvious reasons). Kristen is down-to-earth, a natural problem-solver, ultra organized (thanks to a meticulous highlighter and-post-it-note system), great with the details, and is known for approaching each project with intensity and passion. She has worked on projects for Lotus Foods, YouSchool, The Honest Kitchen and more.

Annie Buchanan

Chief Financial Officer

Annie has been with Bulldog Drummond since 1997. She holds the company purse strings and ensures the Bulldog team never forgets we are custodians and stewards of our clients’ investment dollars. She prefers the company of her dog, Pie, to human beings because her love is unconditional and money is never a point of contention.

Lisa Tyler

Operations Director

Lisa is our multi-talented master of events and ceremonies. She's a coordinator, collaborator and delegator, and has been known to do all three at once. She leads the experience management at our workshops and innovation sessions. She's involved in every part of the plan—from location, to materials, to ensuring it all gets done and done right. Her attention to detail is second to none. Lisa also leads the office at our home base. If you're new to The Manor, she'll probably be the first person you meet. And if you've known us for a while, you'll know she's the reason we all make it through the day unscathed. If you need it, she has it. If you've lost it, she's found it. If you want a good laugh, she's got the perfect joke. And while Lisa's modest most of the time, she's not shy about making it perfectly clear that “This is my house, and don’t you ever forget it!”

Catharine Francisco

VP, Operations

Bold, fiery and never to be tamed. Catharine’s long red curls say almost everything you need to know about her. She is known throughout the industry for her clear, direct and uncompromising nature. Catharine, or "Cat" as she is known by those close to her, is the operational controller of the company and holds the day-to-day responsibility for project agreements, scheduling, client relations and quality control for each of our projects. She makes sure that everything she touches is 100% correct 100% of the time. Cat brings a regimental clarity to every aspect of the company's operations ensuring harmonious exchanges and partnerships throughout the shop. She is truly the oil in our engine.

Ben Bannister

Project Manager

Ben is easy going, soft-spoken and quick-witted. He’s also really, really tall. He loves to travel and play cards with his friends and family, so when he and his wife set out to explore the world—like Barcelona, Paris, New York, Seattle, and practically everywhere in-between—he makes sure to pick up a deck of cards wherever he goes to add to his ever growing collection. Because, really, who needs another tshirt? If he’s forced to stay home, he’s probably reading something from the non-fiction or theology sections; listening to music on his iPod (yes, the one with the click wheel); watching reruns of The Office; or rummaging through flea markets for vintage speakers or a cool chess set. When it comes to work, he’s a stickler for details and good grammar. And don’t let his good natured disposition fool you—he’s not afraid to crack the whip if need be, so he keeps everyone at Bulldog on their toes and ensures everything that goes out is absolutely perfect, every time. Period.

Mark Tomaszewicz

Chief Experience Officer

Mark never likes to do things the same way twice. An explorer of ideas, people and experiences, he is happiest when he’s helping others see the world differently or checking out a new vantage point on his own. Purposeful wandering has led Mark to run up mountains, down random streets and on long car rides with just the right music. He’s always striving to make a meaningful impact on the world while not taking himself too seriously. After a first career in corporate finance, Mark has spent the last decade focused on guiding clients through experience design, brand activation and culture cultivation as well as having a leadership position with Sharp HealthCare and growing the luxury retailer PIRCH.

Read Mark's Uncommon Sense Articles >

Tiffany Le

Production Designer

While Tiffany was born and raised in Orange County, she left all those housewives behind years ago to make San Diego her home. She is the proud owner of a rather impressive sneaker collection, always down for ice cream (did we mention that she likes ice cream?) and a big fan of gaming—all kinds of gaming—especially the video variety, which you might have guessed after seeing her joystick-shaped mouse. As our resident expert on geek culture and all things tech, she’s the go-to-person for every keyboard shortcut known to man. Add in her compulsion to make lists for just about everything, and it’s no surprise that she’s fast, efficient and organized with everything she touches. As a core member of our Production team, Tiffany has worked with Chewy, Flippin’ Pizza, Fundify, IMC, Hershey, Clover, Diageo and more.

Brett Riggle


Brett traded the East Coast for the much warmer Western coast, along with her philosopher husband, a very large and fluffy cat with a small but loyal fan base, and an impressive, ever-growing indoor garden that covers nearly every inch of her desk. She’s a natural planner, enthusiastic problem-solver and highly skilled Googler, which serve her exceptionally well whether she’s finding the best coffee in a new city or doing research for a client. And while she has more interests, hobbies and skills than we can mention, perhaps the most important thing to note about Brett is her genuine love of people. She believes in forming relationships with clients and learning their stories, their challenges and their goals to ultimately create best-in-class experiences for them and develop big picture plans to drive year-over-year success. Brett brings her diverse background and extensive talents to Dine Brands, Bumble Bee and Matter, to name a few.

Ella Farnsworth

Project Manager

After years of a long-distance relationship, Ella finally decided to make the big cross country move to follow her fiancé to San Diego, leaving behind her other love, Miller, her Pitbull, in Florida. But don’t worry about him—he’s living his best life with her parents and a huge backyard close to the beach. Ella is up for pretty much anything, like eating at new restaurants, sipping new cocktails, and visiting new countries (she aims for one new country a year), but she won’t do any of it without a cup of coffee first. She lives by the sage advice, “Don’t be an idiot,” as spoken by the oh-so wise Dwight Schrute, and we’re happy to say she applies this same no-nonsense approach to her work. Ella is self-motivated, detail oriented and super efficient, bringing her strong project management skills to our office. She’s lent her talents to projects like Bumble Bee Seafoods, Inari Agriculture, and Mazda USA to name a few.

“Get off your assets.” #UncommonSense