Susan Pena Harkness


Born in Oklahoma City, Okla., Susan was a graduate of Bishop McGuinness High School and a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma. With a lifetime career in advertising and marketing communications, she served as the brand manager for OG&E where she spearheaded the product and services communication for dozens of programs and products. Throughout her 26-year career with OG&E, her expertise in brand management strategies, sponsorship management and customer engagement resulted in favorability ratings exceeding 90% for her company. She was well known for creative sponsorship development in the sports marketing area, working with OKC Thunder NBA, Barons AHL Hockey, ASA Softball, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma River development as an Olympic venue. She had numerous major product launches including OG&E Wind Power, OG&E Solar Power, Positive Energy Together, Silver Energy, Smart Hours, OG&E Create Great Neighborhoods and the recent Together Square located in downtown Oklahoma City. OG&E recently honored Susan with its Positive Energy Together (PET) Award for developing the Silver Energy Sweep, a program devoted to making homes more comfortable and energy efficient for senior citizens. Prior to OG&E she was a leader at the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation for 17 years where she directed the state lodges and created Park Pal, the state park mascot.
Susan was an avid volunteer for numerous community organizations including a top campaign volunteer for the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and was recognized as a 2019 recipient of the Byliner Award, which is given to Oklahoma women who make a significant contribution or impact in their community. Susan loved serving and developing organizations and programs such as Creative Oklahoma, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Ad Club, Municipal League, Aspire 2016, OKC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Bricktown Board of Directors, Adventure District, Science Museum Oklahoma and the project most dear to her heart, the Heather Harkness Memorial Volleyball Tournament.
Susan's love for her family and friends was enormous and stretched back to even include a regular get together with her fellow grade school Mayfair Chipmunks. Susan will be greatly missed, always loved and never forgotten by all who knew her.
She is preceded in death by daughter, Heather Harkness; father, Miguel Peña; and mother, Mary Jane Peña.
She is survived by her husband, David Harkness, Edmond, Okla.; daughters, Lindsay Harkness, Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Ashley Harkness, Kansas City, Mo.; brother, David Peña and wife Kaye, Edmond, Okla.; sister, Valerie Peña, Bloomington, Ind.; aunt, Blanche Whitt, San Antonio, Texas; nephews, Matthew Peña and wife Lauren, Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Nathan Peña, Oklahoma City, Okla.; nieces, Jennifer Bui and husband, Peter, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Danielle Peña, Breckenridge, Colo.; and Amee Peña, Boulder, Colo.; and cousin, Gilbert and wife, Dottie, San Antonio, Texas.
In lieu of flowers the family wishes for donations to the Heather Harkness Memorial Fund in care of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1146, Oklahoma City, OK 73101.
Viewing will be available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the family present 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 9, 2019, at Smith & Kernke, and a Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m., Friday, May 10, 2019, at Christ the King Catholic Church. A private family burial will take place at Resurrection Cemetery following the Mass.
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Published on May 7, 2019
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