"She built people," Kayali said, "particularly women at a time when there were fewer female leaders."
Battle with lymphoma
After leaving CNN, Golden completed an MBA program at Georgia State University. Shortly after graduating, she was diagnosed with lymphoma.
"Rena approached the disease and treatment as just one more hurdle to clear---just another bump in the road--- upset only by the fact that it would delay or scale back her work ambitions," husband Rob wrote in her memorial.
The treatment appeared to be successful, and she went back to work, this time for The Weather Channel.
The lymphoma reappeared, but Golden kept on living life to the fullest.
"You never felt she was sick. She was a fighter," said Kayali, who grew closer to Golden during the time of her illness. "She dealt with it head on, and she kept up with life."
She accepted her fate with grace, Rob Golden wrote.