Nurturing Excellence, Shaping Leaders: Elevate Your Impact with the Schuldiner/Smollan Leadership Academy.

Attend NAEA’s exclusive leadership development program May 23-24, 2024 and gain insights from NAEA leadership on their involvement and learn how to enhance engagement in the industry. The Schuldiner/Smollan Leadership Academy (SSLA) is named for the two primary forces behind the creation of the National Association of Enrolled Agents; Syd Schuldiner, EA, served as NAEA’s first president in 1972 and David Smollan, EA, served as the second president in 1973. This program seeks to train volunteers for success as leaders of NAEA at the local, state, and national levels.

Explore how you can get involved by attending this year’s Schuldiner/Smollan Leadership Academy. Open to NAEA members only.

This event has ended. See you next year!

The SSLA is a member-only event.

Price to Attend: $50

NAEA Cancellation Policy

Tickets are non-refundable but are transferable to another member. Attendees can transfer tickets directly from their registration page. Transfers are accepted until May 10th. After that date, no transfers will be accepted. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis. If you require assistance, please contact or 202-822-6232 with any questions.

Limited space is available; a waitlist will be activated for those interested in attending should registration reach capacity.

Thursday, May 23rd

7:30 am – 4:00 pm


7:30 am – 8:00 am

Coffee & Light Breakfast

8:00 am – 8:50 am

Welcome & Leadership

8:50 am – 9:50 am

History of NAEA/Affiliates

9:50 am – 10:10 am


10:10 am – 11:10 am


11:10 am – 11:50 am

Strategic Thinking

11:50 am – 1:15 pm


1:15 pm – 3:00 pm

Writing Reports and Other Documents

3:00 pm  – 3:20 pm


3:20 pm – 4:20 pm

Financial Literacy for Board Members

4:20 pm – 5:00 pm

Mock Committee Meeting Preparation

6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Class Outing

Friday, May 24th

7:30 am – 8:00 am

Coffee & Light Breakfast

8:00 am – 9:40 am

NAEA and Public Awareness

9:40 am – 10:00 am


10:00 am – 11:40 am

Leadership and Member Engagement Challenges

11:40 am – 12:00 pm

Wrap-Up: The Future of Our Association

Raven Deerwater, EA, PhD

Raven Deerwater EA, PhD has been a tax practitioner in Mendocino, California since 1996. He specializes in individuals and families, especially sole proprietors. A former mathematics teacher and trainer of mathematics teachers, Raven has co-authored several textbooks ranging from 4th through 12th grades.

Raven has been President of six different non-profit Boards, including the California Society of Enrolled Agents (2012 – 2013) and the North Bay Chapter of CSEA (2009 – 2010), receiving the highest service awards from four of these Boards. He most recently received the 2018 – 2019 NAEA EA Mentor of the Year. As Secretary/Treasurer and team leader with the Melos Institute, Raven has been studying the effects of formal and informal leadership training on volunteer leaders.

Raven holds an AB in Economics from Harvard University, an MAT in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Education (curriculum and instruction), also from the University of Chicago. He is a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians.

Terry Durkin, EA, MBA

Terry Durkin, EA, MBA is the principal of Durkin Associates Tax Services based in Marlborough, Massachusetts. She specializes in individual, small business, and trust tax return preparation and representation. Terry is a past president of NAEA and served on the NAEA Board of Directors from 2011-2017. She received the NAEA Founders Award in 2012 for her contribution and service to NAEA. Terry is also an NTPI Fellow. In July 2014, she testified before the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax, and Capital Access at the hearing titled, Cash Accounting: A Simpler Method for Small Firms.

Terry is past president of the Massachusetts Society of Enrolled Agents (MaSEA) and received the MaSEA 2010 EA of the Year Award. She received her BS degree in applied mathematics with computer science from Yale University and her MBA degree with a concentration in finance from New York University. In her spare time, Terry enjoys golfing.

Tynisa (Ty) Gaines, EA

Tynisa (Ty) Gaines EA, is a highly qualified professional with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois and a Master’s degree in Public Personnel Management from Troy University. Ty has been a proud member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) since 2007, a (National Tax Practice Institute) NTPI fellow since 2010, and a Schuldiner Smollen Leadership Academy (SSLA) graduate and current instructor. Her impressive resume includes receiving the “EA of the Year” award from the Virginia Society of Enrolled Agents (VASEA) in 2015 and being a past VASEA President. Ty is also a former director for (NAEA) and former chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

In recognition of her exceptional mentorship skills, Ty received the “Mentor of the Year” award from NAEA in 2022. She has authored several tax articles and two e-books, Tax-ish: Teens 1.0 and Tax-ish: Teens 2.0, which are ideal for teens or anyone preparing their first tax return. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief for NAEA’s EA journal. Ty’s expertise lies in military taxpayers and cryptocurrency, and she is currently a Tax Project Manager for Token Tax LLC, working remotely from Fort Worth, Texas.

Lonnie Gary, EA

Lonnie Gary is an Enrolled Agent from Mountain View, California, and specializes in federal and state tax agency representation. Lonnie has been preparing tax returns professionally since 1988 and passed the Special Enrollment Exam in 1992. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court as a non-attorney.

Lonnie served on the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) from 2008 to 2010 where he was Chair of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Sub-group in 2009. Lonnie has presented tax seminars to various business groups, IRS Forums, and EA chapters and affiliates. He has also appeared on the Tax Talk Today program discussing professional ethics and tax law changes.

Lonnie is a Past President (2014-2015) of NAEA and has served as Chair of several committees and task forces including the Government Relations Committee. He is also a past president (2003-2004) of the California Society of Enrolled Agents (CSEA) and past president (1999-2000) of the East Bay Association of Enrolled Agents (EBAEA).


NAEA Office 
1100 G Street
Conference/Meeting Space
Washington, DC 20005


Parking at NAEA Office  

Daily Office Garage Parking Rates: 

Mon-Fri 7:00 am – 7:00 pm  

The daily rate is $10 for the first hour, $21 max, $35 for overnight. 

Additional daily garages are found nearby.  


NAEA will provide a list of hotel options nearby with discounted rates for attendees to book. Additional details coming soon!  

Creating a safe, worry-free experience is our top priority.  

AEA is preparing the 2024 SSLA event experience so that all individuals onsite—attendees, speakers, staff, and venue personnel—remain safe and comfortable throughout the event. We are monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and our venue partners.

Duty of Care

We’re facilitating measures that will ensure optimal health and sanitary conditions in all environments where in-person interaction takes place. Read NAEA’s Duty of Care Plan