General Manager Jim Muth
runs his hand across one of the 72-inch ballistic
whiteboards on display in the lobby Tuesday afternoon at
EVERWhite in Hartford. The company is producing
bulletproof whiteboards to be used in active shooter
situations in schools.
John Ehlke/Daily News
HARTFORD — Jim Muth, general manager of EVERWhite,
wishes he didn’t have to develop bullet-proof and
he’ll be proud he and his colleagues did if they save a
EVERWhite, 1480 Independence Ave., Hartford, is set to
roll out the whiteboards to consumers by the end of
October or early November. The product stems from
customer demand for more protection for teachers and
“It’s about saving lives,” Muth said.
EVERWhite, a whiteboard manufacturer and online
retailer, in 2017 moved into a 30,000-squarefoot
facility in Hartford to accommodate for increased demand
for its dry-erase boards, used by schools, universities,
health care facilities, businesses and sports teams.
EVERWhite is a division of Menomonee Falls-based Glenroy,
which makes flexible packaging film and pouches.
the Menomonee Falls site, space reached capacity, so the
purchase was made for a facility in the industrial park
near Quad/ Graphics. Once settled into the new facility,
EVERWhite representatives began to explore new product
ideas to offer to customers.
After 17 students and staff members were killed in a
mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in
February, EVERWhite heard the desire for some kind of
protection in classrooms from its customers and decided
to enter a new market: ballistic protection.
blog post on EverWhite’s website cited a July CNN story
that said the education sector of the security market
grew $2.7 billion last year, up from $2.5 billion in
2015. Plus, schools using video surveillance grew to 70
percent in 2013, up from 20 percent in 1999 — the year
of the Columbine, Colorado, shooting.
a sad and unfortunate reality, Muth said.
“Wish we didn’t need it at all,” he said. “We talk to
customers frequently and when it comes to that kind of
situation, in the classroom, they have little to no
protection. There’s not much shelter in classrooms.”
response, EVERWhite developed a product called
According to the production description, the system can
resist rounds from weapons ranging from .22-caliber used
in small arms to 7.62mm cartridges used in rifles,
shotguns and semi-automatic weapons.
MOBILEGuard Ballistic Panel System consists of
connectable panels of layered ballistic materials with
EVERWhite’s magnetic whiteboard surfaces or cork boards
on both sides.
boards are heavy at a couple hundred pounds, but wheels
help make the boards moveable.
“From the standpoint of ballistics, there’s so many
different categories or threats and not all are guns,”
Muth said. “There could be blasts and other types of
threats besides ballistics. Primarily, we learned to
look to the experts to give us the standards to test to,
to design to; there’s different technologies out there.
Some are having advantages and disadvantages of each
other, so we had to work through those.
do we blend it to make it where people really don’t know
or it’s not obvious that it’s ballistic material?”
boards come in two sizes and various colors. One board
is 78 inches high by 56.5 inches wide and the other
board is shorter — 54 inches high by 62.5 inches wide.
panels can also have wings installed that, with a
locking mechanism, can be placed in a doorway to prevent
entry by an intruder with a gun.
said it’s not 100 percent protection from a gunman, but
it’s a big step in the right direction.
the new product goes public, Muth said, jobs will be
added, with more jobs likely once production in Hartford
state has distributed money in recent months to school
districts to be used for security upgrades. Muth said
local schools and districts can use that grant money on
While it is bullet protection, the panels are just like
dry-erase boards that can be custom made to include
designs such as cartoon characters.
safety conference in Orlando, Florida, Muth said the
MOBILEGuard received high praise.
got a great response,” he said. “The comments were ‘This
is genius.’ ‘This is a great idea and well needed.’”