ICC Members: The individuals behind codes and safety | Sylvia Ardoin
Code professionals ensure building safety today, for a stronger tomorrow. As the individuals behind modern codes and standards, these professionals are responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of codes and standards, shaping the safety of the world around us, and serve as the safety foundation for our buildings. They don’t just ensure that buildings are constructed to withstand the stress of everyday use, they are behind the security and stability of every building. They specialize in preventative measures to help communities weather unforeseen natural disasters and ensure that first responders have less to worry about and can do their jobs safely. Code professionals are an essential piece in the building and construction puzzle and are engaged in the building process from the initial building plan to the finished product.
The International Code Council is a member-focused association with over 64,000 members dedicated to developing model codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance process to construct safe, sustainable, affordable and resilient structures. They protect the public through their commitment to building safety; enforce code compliance to empower and educate stakeholders across the built environment to embrace and integrate safety standards in their work; support economic development by making our buildings sturdier, and therefore longer lasting. Their knowledge, skills, and abilities impact every building, in every community.
The Code Council recognizes the importance of continuing to grow awareness of the important work that code professionals do and the impact they have, in the hopes of encouraging aspiring building safety professionals to join in on the building safety movement. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Sylvia Ardoin to share her experience in the industry, highlights of her professional career, and any insights or advice she has concerning the industry and the future of building safety.
Code Enforcement Officer II
Sugar Land, Texas, United States
International Code Council member for 10 years
BSJ: What was the path to your career — how and why did you pursue a profession in building safety?
Ardoin: I was a realtor for several years but always felt like there was something else out there for me. So, about 25 years ago, I took a different avenue and applied for a Permit Clerk position with the City of Marble Falls in the Texas Hill Country. This exposed me to the field of code enforcement and from there, I built my Code Enforcement career.
BSJ: What three things do you need to be successful in this industry and in your profession?
Ardoin: First, build trust and respect with the community. Secondly, serve the community as an educator, not an enforcer. And thirdly, teamwork is a major element in establishing successful code enforcement programs.
BSJ: What role have mentors, advisors or your network played in your career?
Ardoin: They have all taught me to always have an open mind and to be fair, to keep my passion for life and my integrity and Train …Train …Train.
BSJ: What led you to become an ICC member?
Ardoin: They offer a great source of information for the codes and standards. Additionally, training opportunities are abundant, which assist me in updates on new codes.
BSJ: Are you involved in any ICC committees or councils? Do you have any ICC certifications?
Ardoin: Due to a hectic and varied schedule, I’m not currently involved or sit on any ICC Committees or Councils. I hold a current ICC Property Maintenance and Housing Inspector certification.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Ardoin: 25 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Ardoin: Through diligent and continuous efforts, in concert with the citizens and the integrity of the community, property values continue to increase.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Ardoin: Through continuing education, and hard work, we can create school curriculum programs to educate and enlighten our children on the importance of the environment with simple, yet effective, measures to contribute to the process.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Ardoin: Always treat people with respect and truly care about their health, welfare and safety. In return, they can appreciate a cleaner environment where they live, work and play,
BSJ: What do you see as most surprising about the work that you do?
Ardoin: As a code enforcement officer, I truly believe we play a major role in the community as it affects the health, welfare and safety of the citizens. When you see neighbors coming together and taking pride in their neighborhoods and creating a successful relationship between themselves, the Team effort is very rewarding.
BSJ: What would you like to do next in your professional/personal life?
Ardoin: To own a property inspection business and to continue with the positive and constructive education regarding health and safety requirements.
BSJ: What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?
Ardoin: Riding Harley Davidson’s and leisure travel with my wife in our travel trailer.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title would be?
Ardoin: “She Did It Her Way”!
There’s a world of opportunity in being a member of the International Code Council. Membership provides the tools to get the most out of each workday: from discounts on essential International Codes and other publications to the best prices on top-quality training and ICC certification renewals, Code Council membership helps budgets go further. Exclusive member benefits include code advice from expert technical staff as well as access to member-exclusive news and articles at the Building Safety Journal news portal. Plus, only Code Council members vote in the ICC code development process. An online Career Center allows job postings and searches for new job opportunities — all at no additional charge.
The Code Council offers numerous councils, committees, and resources to help code professionals grow and network with colleagues. Six discipline-specific Membership Councils offer members a place to come together and be a more powerful force in shaping your association, your industry, your career, and your future. Code Development Committees are an instrumental part of the ICC code development process and are responsible for the review and evaluation of code change proposals submitted to the International Codes. Professional Development Committees serve to better align the ICC education programs and certification programs to ensure that quality training is available to meet the needs of all members, customers and certification holders. Finally, the Value of the Code Official toolkit helps members to heighten awareness of the importance of code officials to their communities and to highlight the code official’s role as a helpful advocate for community safety, health and welfare, and economic development.