Our Story

Naden/Lean LLC was founded in 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland, as a sole practice by Paul Naden, CPA, JD. Known for his dynamic personality and extraordinary talent, Paul Naden quickly won over his clients with his accounting expertise and ability to establish strong, trusted relationships. Clients trusted him to guide them through making challenging business decisions and he supported their goals by offering the best recommendations and solutions. The Maryland CPA firm operated out of the basement of Paul’s home for the first 10 years until the firm expanded and moved to its first official office location.

Paul Naden
Paul Naden

Gerald Lean, CPA, JD, joined the firm as a consultant in 1966. Gerry, who was an IRS agent in his 20’s, met Paul through a mutual colleague and worked with one of Paul’s clients through the process of an audit. Gerry was thorough and extremely knowledgeable in taxes. Paul was so impressed with Gerry’s services and knowledge that he offered him the opportunity to work for the firm as a consultant.

As the Maryland CPA firm grew, the team moved to their first business location in Belvedere Towers, located in Northwest Baltimore. Operating out of a two bedroom apartment, which was converted into office space to accommodate a team of five, the firm continued to expand their clientele and quickly outgrew the space. In February 1973, Paul Naden and his firm moved to a standalone office building in the Mount Washington area. During this time, the firm acquired more staff members, some of whom would eventually become partners, including Ron Ehman, Allan Cohen, Tim Lott, and Darryl Bodnar.

Paul Naden (left) & Gerald (Gerry) Lean (right)
Paul Naden (left) & Gerald (Gerry) Lean (right)

In September 1979, Gerry became a partner and the Naden/Lean name was formed along with the addition of another partner, who later moved on. Together Paul Naden & Gerry Lean grew the firm into one of Maryland’s largest local public accounting and business consulting firms. They expanded their services to represent clients from a wide range of industries including dental practices, technology firms, and manufacturing companies, as well as not-for-profit organizations.

The firm became Naden/Lean LLC in 1987 and soon relocated to the Green Spring Station office in Lutherville, Maryland. As a result of a merger in 1994, partner Jeff Drake joined the firm. Partner Bruce Caulk joined the firm in 1999 and together the group of seven partners has successfully led and maintained the Naden/Lean legacy of being one of the most respected CPA firms in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Naden/ Lean Staff 1980’s
Naden/ Lean Staff 1980’s

Over the years, the firm has expanded to include: Dental CPAs – a full service accounting and practice management consulting firm targeted specifically for dentists; NL Financial – a wealth management and investment planning company; NL Tech- a computer network maintenance and technology consulting firm; and most recently, NL Transitions – a dental brokerage firm that services dentists throughout the Mid-Atlantic region who are transitioning in or out of their practice.

Under the leadership of our partners, Naden/Lean LLC has remained true to our trusted reputation and ethical commitments for over fifty years. We pride ourselves in providing our clients with expert guidance and the best recommendations to successfully achieving their goals. Now headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, the firm consists of seven partners and over forty employees. While Gerry Lean is still a working partner, Paul Naden passed away in 2013, leaving his legacy of great business practices and creativity. Naden/Lean LLC’s trusted reputation of knowledge, experience, and expertise continues to successfully service and retain clients for generations.