Michael Wich, the director of building code administration and chief building official for the South Central Planning and Development Commission in Houma, La., has been appointed to the International Code Council Board of Directors. Wich leads the regional-based code enforcement program that serves six parishes and five municipalities in Southwest Louisiana. He joins the Code Council Board that represents the interests of building safety and fire prevention officials in jurisdictions across the United States and around the globe.
"As a code official, engineer and former home builder, Michael is a well-qualified and experienced professional who brings a diverse skillset to our Board of Directors," said ICC Board President Alex Olszowy, III, with the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government in Lexington, Ky. "He is a tireless advocate for code officials and our mission of helping construct safe, sustainable, affordable and more resilient communities."
After owning and operating a residential construction company for eight years, Wich joined the code administration field in 2007 at the urging of his wife, Michelle. "Before Hurricane Katrina, code adoption and application lacked in many areas in Southwest Louisiana," he explained. "I always thought homes needed to be built to at least a certain minimum standard, and one day Michelle saw an ad for the job in Houma. She told me to stop complaining and apply. So I did.
"Serving on the ICC Board allows me to help raise awareness of what code officials and our organization do to protect citizens in the built environment," Wich continued. "Since Katrina, we have made great strides in improving building and fire safety in communities across the region. It is an honor to be able to work with my fellow ICC Board members and colleagues to continue spreading this important message on the national and global levels."
In addition to supervising staff, educating local builders and government officials on the importance of code adoption and application, and pursuing legislative interests, Wich represents the region on Louisiana State Uniform Construction Council Code Review Committees and continues to seek innovative ways to improve the commission’s building code enforcement program. He also participates in the ongoing development of departmental software that is used throughout the region, as well as in more than 100 jurisdictions in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas and Texas.
A Certified Building Official, Wich also holds Combination Residential Inspector and Commercial Building, Plumbing, and Electrical Inspector certifications from the Code Council. He is a Past President of the Building Officials Association of Louisiana, serving on the Chapter Board since 2009, and is a member of the boards of the Louisiana Homebuilders Association and Southwest Louisiana Homebuilders Association.
Wich earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University. He and his wife Michelle have two sons, ages 12 and seven.