DES MOINES, Iowa (9/12/11)--The annual Iowa Credit Union Convention will take place this week in Des Moines, kicking off Wednesday with more than 300 representatives from credit unions and supporters focusing on advancing credit union growth and vitality. 2012 Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry will speak Friday about credit unions and the economy, and will take questions from Iowa credit union attendees. His address will be broadcast on UStream at http://www.usstream.tv/channel/iowa-credit-union-league. Aaron Thomas, son of the late Ed Thomas of Parkersburg, will be the closing keynote speaker Friday. He will share his family's story and discuss how to deal with adversity, set important goals and live a meaningful life of passion. Thomas' book, "The Sacred Acre--The Ed Thomas Story," was No. 29 on the New York Times Best Seller List last week. The conference, which ends Friday, also will feature 13 education sessions on topics such as how to prepare for a crisis, marketing and business development, what effects the economy has on credit unions and compliance updates geared to directors and others.