Michael Sadler ’89

Though he’s always been interested in electronics and the latest gadgets, Michael Sadler wouldn’t describe himself as a “techie.” In fact, when he graduated from Simpson with a management degree, Sadler thought he would use it to run his own retail business some day.

“Then I got this job managing a clothing store in the mall,” he said. “Within about three months I figured out I wanted to do something else.”

Sadler is now assistant vice president for Public Policy and Government Relations for CenturyLink. He is an expert in the issue of “net neutrality” — or whether the Internet should be regulated (his company says it shouldn’t) — and must stay current on emerging consumer trends so he understands what Qwest’s role will be in the digital future.

“I never would have pictured myself doing what I do now,” Sadler said. “But now I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. It’s funny how life takes you in different directions.”

At first, he didn’t plan on Simpson, either. A standout basketball player at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Sadler had settled on Wartburg College before Simpson’s former Head Coach Denny Dearden invited him for a visit.

“I went down there to Simpson and fell in love with it,” Sadler said. “I walked on campus and just felt at home.”

A self-described average student, Sadler admits getting “the first semester talk” from the two most influential people in his life: his mom and his coach.

“They both said something along the lines of, ‘ok, do you realize you are here to go to school?’” Sadler recalls with a laugh. “What I really learned at Simpson was how to study and how to learn. I was a sponge.”

As a student-athlete, Sadler said he spent a lot of time on the basketball court — where he still remembers Coach Bruce Wilson’s mantra: “We got to get after it from the get-go.”

“It means giving everything your very best, right from the start,” he said. “I’ve really tried to apply that to my whole life.”

View all Success Stories   Filter Stories by Topic