What better symbol, then, for a company that specializes in detecting the signals of uncertain events; a company dedicated to leading its clients to the recognition of these risks and to structuring  their response mechanisms?

Cygnal Consulting’s Swan logo is composed of the double C formed from Cygnal Consulting. “Cygnal” is derived from "Cygnet", the term for infant swan, and "Signal", the term used for the metrics involved in identifying risks. It embodies the talent of identifying and treating risks in their nascent stages…when they are best managed.


Cygnet  +  Signal  =  Cygnal Consulting.

It was quite a shock when in 1636 Dutch explorers returned from Australia with tales of black swans. Like some risks identified today, the discovery of the variant bird was met with hostile skepticism. Slowly explorers, naturalists, and scientists corroborated the strange tales and Cygnus atratus was added to the ornothogical lists.


about the swan


Black Swan Events are those unexpected, low probability, high impact events so often debated in risk management. The phrase Black Swan Event to describe an epistemic event was largely popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb's 2007 New York Times bestseller The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. Mr. Taleb summarizes the distinguishing characteristics of Black Swan Events as "... rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective predictability." The phrase refers to the old European belief that all swans are white. 

Smarter Decisions.
fewer surprises.

Projects Delivered.

Vanessa was selected to participate as a risk authority in the 2013 PMI-Risk Management Professional Role Delineation Study and Examination Update.
Ms. Richardson received her BS in Environmental Geography and Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

about the owner

Vanessa Richardson


Vanessa Richardson is a certified Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP). Her career began as a Logistics Officer for the US Army. There Ms. Richardson led maintenance, logistics, risk management, and emergency planning operations for major capital ground and aviation units in Oklahoma, Colorado, S. Korea, and Iraq. After almost six years of service, Ms. Richardson received an Honorable Discharge. 
Ms. Richardson joined a start-up design firm, Red Cashew as Director of Operations and Project Manager where she led five projects while supporting the relocation of the company from Colorado to California. In 2008 Ms. Richardson joined MWH where she led risk management on four major capital rehabilitation projects with construction costs totaling $3B for the British Columbia Hydropower Authority, BC Hydro. Vanessa also developed and led the pilot of the Project Delivery Risk Management framework. She created similar governance frameworks for the program delivery divisions of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and San Jose- Santa Clara Wastewater Facility.