Judy Castleberry
Judy Castleberry (The Daily Times File Photo )

FARMINGTON — Two years after being named interim director of San Juan College's Business Development Center, Judy Castleberry has been hired as the director of the very center that helped her start a business in 2002.

The Business Development Center features the business incubator, which has helped more than 50 businesses start in San Juan County, according to Castleberry.

Castleberry said the incubator provides spaces for new businesses and offers a network of support.

In 2002, Castlebery and Pam Hyder went to the Business Development Center for help starting Partners Assisted Living Services, Inc. The business provides non-medical, in-home services to seniors.

"In a way, I'm kind of paying it forward," Castleberry said.

As director, Castleberry plans to host a start-up weekend in November to help local entrepreneurs learn about opportunities in the community.

While San Juan County has experienced a downturn of economic activity, Castleberry said she thinks it will improve.

"I tend to be an optimist," she said.

Castleberry pointed out that the community has historically gone through ups and downs. And, she said, it's now time for people to reassess the business opportunities in the county.

She added that the college plays an integral role in the business community, providing community programs like the business incubator and educational classes.

"I think that the college does a wonderful job," she said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.