Michael Sadler, an executive with CenturyLink and a Greater Des Moines community leader, has died, a company representative confirmed Wednesday afternoon. 

Sadler, assistant vice president of public policy and government relations with CenturyLink for the past seven years, joined the telecommunications company in January 1994 when it was US West. He graduated from Simpson College in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in management, and earned an MBA in management from Upper Iowa University in 2004. 

Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg said Sadler had been treated for a heart ailment last week but developed complications. He died this morning. 

“You could talk to a thousand people and they would all say he was one of their best friends. He was my friend. He had a way of making you feel like you were the only one in the room when he talked to you,” Andeweg said. 

“He was a person who was always involved,” including as a recent member of the Urbandale Civil Rights Commission, Andeweg said. “He was a friend to everyone and never was a stranger. People wanted him on their team.”

Mike Ralston, president of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, said he lost his best friend. The two first met more than 20 years ago when they both worked at what was then US West, when Ralston held the government relations position that Sadler eventually filled.

“I think in an age when the public discourse is increasingly caustic, he brought people together,” Ralston said. “He was involved in so many organizations because he was driven to make the community better. He was a successful businessperson, but the thing I think most of all, he connected people. Everybody loved him — we will miss him.”

Sadler was honored in 2005 by the Business Record as a member of the Forty Under 40 class, and in 2014 was recognized as the Forty Under 40 Alumnus of the Year.

Brent Aamoth, a friend who worked with Sadler at CenturyLink, wrote in 2014 that Sadler “has shown a long history of success in business, stays plugged in to the community, contributes personal time back to the community, and balances involvement with his family at the same time. Many people ‘talk the talk’ but Michael is one who doesn’t waste time talking, but prefers to ‘walk the walk’!” 

In 2012, Sadler received Simpson College’s “Double S” award, given to former Simpson athletes who have achieved career success. 

Sadler was active on business and community boards. He previously chaired the Central Iowa Workforce Investment Board, and has been chair of the Iowa Business Council’s Deputy Committee. He has also served on the boards of the Iowa Taxpayers Association and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

Visitation will be Sunday, June 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Westover Funeral Home in Des Moines. His funeral will be Monday, June 25 at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Des Moines at 10 a.m.