I am blessed to call Manual (Manny) Couto my Dad. I would like to give a little insight to who my Dad is and what makes him so special.  He was raised in Newark, in the Portuguese Ironbound District. He grew up in a family where faith, and hard work are the guiding principle, giving him strong family traditions and values. Both my grandfathers encouraged and stressed to my dad that treating family and everyone you encounter with respect is paramount.  He was taught that hard work, honesty, and integrity are integral to a person’s character. While he loved Newark and still works there today, he wanted a better life for his family. He and my mom wanted my brothers and me to grow up in a neighborhood setting. This included having a backyard, good schools, and a town filled with people who care.  After much research (my Dad is a realtor), they found Berkeley Heights and moved our family here. 

As my Dad’s biggest advocate, I can attest that my Dad lives every day looking at the glass half full.  He finds the good in people and always has a beautiful and collaborative perspective of the world. He encourages others to see life as the glass half full, too.  More importantly, he has lived his life guided by strong values and has raised my two brothers and me to appreciate the hard work and love for helping others. I have always looked up to my Dad because of his big heart, patience and commitment to family.  In the family, he has always been the problem solver and consistently is an example of how patience is shown. Dad extends empathy and shows us others perspective even when we argue among ourselves. My Dad has the biggest heart!

 Over the past few years, we have had a number of elderly family members who needed help. Dad is always the first one there lending a helping hand.   His actions showed me that taking care of others was an integral part of who we are as “The Couto’s”.

 Dad’s “Berkeley Heights Family” is also very important to him.  My Dad is a proud Councilman who serves our town with honesty and is always looking to improve.  He stands behind all the progress in town and continues to work to make it even better. Dependable leadership and lending a helping hand to residents in town is Dad’s credence.   He is a team player and works tirelessly to create good policy. “Walking the walk, not just talking the talk”. This is why he makes sure to be at every event, no matter what it takes.  I have seen the sacrifices that he makes and the countless hours that he has dedicated to serving our community – he does this willingly and always with a smile! Berkeley Heights is lucky to have him working for them!