As Young Harris Water Sports’ President and Chief Executive Officer, Lance is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day-operations of the company, as well as controlling all aspects of the company’s overall direction and strategy. He started Y.H.W.S in 2002 while simultaneously acting as Sports Medicine Director and Head Athletic Trainer at Young Harris College. In 2009 Lance took Young Harris Water Sports on full time and it has grown tremendously. It is his dedication to quality and customer service that has made YHWS the number one boat rental company in Georgia .Lance holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science from Eastern Washington and a Master’s degree in Science from Marshall University.


JACOB BENOFF – Director of Operations, Central Georgia

Prior to arriving at Young Harris Water Sports Jacob has spent over 20 years in the travel and tourism industry holding a variety of leadership positions at Hyatt Hotels, Drury Hotels, IHG, and Best Western. He has served as a guest speaker for several convention and visitors bureaus and has been the recipient of several industry leading awards. He’s been a part of our team since the early days. Since then our Central Georgia locations have grown from one rental location and 14 watercraft to four rental locations with over 40 watercraft, fuel docks, and wake shop.

KENT CHAMBERLAIN – Northern Rental Manager

Kent recently joined our team and has already proven to be a huge asset from his ability to problem solve to his excellence in customer service. With over 20 years working in and around docks and boats he understands what it takes to provide a top quality experience for our customers.
DEBORAH RUSSELL – Accounting/Office Manager

Deborah has over 25 years of Business Operations experience from Office Management and Administration, Banking Operations and Technology, Customer Service, and Bookkeeping, to Shipping and Receiving, Purchasing, Quality Control, and Loss Prevention. Deborah has held positions at Fortune 500 companies such as R.J. Reynolds, PPG Industries, Office Max, and Sidel Inc, and most recently worked for United Community Bank for ten years, which has currently been placed on Forbes list of America’s Best 100 Banks.

As Young Harris Water Sports’ Office Administrator, Deborah is responsible for activities including but not limited to office administration, accounts payable and accounts receivable, human resources, marketing, customer service and the day-to-day activities of the Dealership.


LORI BOYER – Manager : 44 Bridge, Lake Oconee Location

Lori comes to Young Harris Water Sports with over 20 years of boating and tourism experience serving in a variety of leadership roles with IHG, Hilton, Independent Hotels, Honda, Kawasaki, and Bombardier.

As Young Harris Water Sports’ manager of the 44 Bridge location, Lori is responsible for all aspects of its operation including but not limited to: water craft rental, customer relations, wake shop, and Central Georgia reservation/call center. Lori is a graduate of Georgia College & State University with a degree in business administration.

AJ Whitehurst

AJ WHITEHURST – Operations Manager, 44 Bridge Lake Oconee

Heading up the team and water craft fleet at our 44 Bridge location, AJ believes in our moto “Where Excellence is Standard”. With a heart for serving as well as a keen eye for detail, he keeps our team focused on delivering the very best in product while ensuring his team focuses on serving you. His wide ranging 25 plus year in luxury hospitality management across the country makes him uniquely qualified, ensuring our team delivers a personalized water sports memories tailored to each guest that goes unequaled in the industry.

Jessie Ricks

JESSIE RICKS – Location Manager, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

Jessie Ricks leads our team of Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton located on Lake Oconee. As a former softball player and coach for the top 10 division 1 NCAA Ole Miss Rebels, she knows what it takes to inspire others to excellence every day. Jessie is a Lake Oconee native who practically grew up on a boat navigating this beautiful lake every day. She has worked through our entire operation holding positions of dockhand, boat captain, and supervisor prior to current role. She has also been an employee of the hotel which allows her to serve guests of the resort from a guest perspective. Jessie’s been a part of our team for 7+ years.