Director of Procurement

It is the policy and practice of HAWS Procurement Department to afford quality vendors and contractors, regardless of social or economic classification, the maximum opportunity to participate in contracting opportunities.  The result of our efforts is the procurement of quality goods and services in a fair, open, competitive and respectful process for everyone involved.

To accomplish our mission of providing affordable housing, it is imperative that HAWS works with vendors and contractors that can deliver the highest quality of goods and services at the best value.  In order to maximize its contracting dollars, HAWS looks for much competition as the open market will provide.  We are always looking for new qualified vendors.  We obtain these by:

  • Placing notices of upcoming contracting opportunities in the Winston-Salem Journal, various minority newspapers and journals, and on our website.
  • Through recommendations and references from our technical and program experts
  • Applications to be placed on the Vendors/Contractors Mailing List

Kelly ChurchKelly Church

Vice President / Chief Operations Officer

Kelly Church has been in real estate investment and property management in both the private market and affordable housing for the past 18 years. Since 2009, she has dedicated her time and effort to the Housing Authority of the City of Winston-Salem and currently holds the position of Vice President and Chief Operations Officer.

In her current position, Church serves as a member of the authority’s executive staff in developing the long term goals for the agency and assists with future real estate development planning. She oversees the operations of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, the Property Management Department and the Commercial Division. Operations include over 5000 housing choice vouchers, approximately 1100 public housing units and 200 market rate affordable units managed by Imperial Property Management Services.

Church is a graduate of Greensboro College, holds Certified Apartment Property Supervisor (CAPS) and Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) designations with the National Apartment Association (NAA). She is an IREM Certified Property Manager (CPM®), a licensed NC Real Estate Broker since 2001 and currently serves as the Real Estate Broker-in- Charge and the Executive CPM® for the agency holding the IREM AMO (Accredited Management Organization) certification for HAWS. The AMO certification gives HAWS an exclusive accreditation that gives an edge to top-class firms in gaining new business and developing top talent. The difference between a firm with an AMO and a firm without one is a difference of trust, credibility, and performance.

Nancy ThomasNancy Thomas, CPA, Esq.

Vice President of Administration / Chief Financial Officer

Nancy Thomas has ten years experience in the public and affordable housing industry and 35 years experience in corporate finance and administration. She joined the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem in 2017 as the Vice President of Administration / Chief Financial Officer. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is a certified public accountant and a licensed attorney in the state of North Carolina.

The Administration division, consisting of the Human Resources, Finance, Procurement and Information Technology departments is committed to providing excellent responsive service and support to the Authority, its stakeholders and the community. The staff excels at hiring qualified individuals who have a commitment to excellence, complying with all applicable financial reporting and operational requirements, procuring services and materials under compliant policies and procedures while providing the greatest value to the Authority, and operating throughout the Authority with state of the art technology.



The Housing Authority of Winston-Salem is committed to the utilization of capital improvement funds to provide essential non-routine maintenance, revitalization, and redevelopment of existing public housing communities.  Expenditures generated from this fund will be used to improve and increase the supply of existing housing stock and to transform HAWS developments into viable mixed income communities.

The Capital Improvements Department strives to provide excellent service in delivering quality housing for low-income families and communities.  Examples of current site improvements include lobby and office renovations; roof and floor replacements; electrical and plumbing upgrades; and the installation of site lighting and security cameras.

Kevin CheshireKevin D. Cheshire

Executive Director

On January 14, 2020 it was announced that The Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem (HAWS) voted to appoint Kevin D. Cheshire as the next Executive Director. Cheshire was selected out of 35 applicants nationwide for the position.

Claire Bennett-LookabillClaire Bennett-Lookabill

Director of Finance

The Finance Department is composed of highly motivated and learned individuals whose primary focus is to provide quality service and sound financial management advice to HAWS operating units. Our mission is to:

  • Promote sound fiscal management
  • Enhance the integrity and usefulness of financial reporting
  • Ensure compliance with rules and regulations
  • Provide quantitative and qualitative analysis on management growth endeavors
  • Increase productivity and customer service by optimizing the use of technology-based solutions

We will achieve this by investing in staff development and training, fostering team work and collaboration, and providing for growth opportunities.

Our vision is to be a learning department in the HAWS organization that will provide fair, accurate, reliable, and timely information necessary to support effective decision making.   

People are our strength; excellence is our commitment!