Charles Darling

Founder & President

Charles spent 20 years in the Information Technology and Aerospace & Defense industry. Having a love (and addiction) to softball bats, Charles set out to found Proton in January 2021 wanting to create an incredible bat for the players. Charles worked with some of the brightest composite engineers from leading Aerospace & Defense companies to assist in the of design world-class bats and paddles. Charles has two children and can be found on the court or on the field when not at Proton HQ.

Dan Smith


Dan is one of the best all-time contributors to the game of softball. As a player, sponsor, team owner, a member of the USSSA Hall of Fame, he has left a lasting legacy on sofball. Dan brings decades of renowned business leadership to Proton.

Steve Smith


Steve has been a significant contributor to softball as a player, team owner, and sponsor. After a successful career in Construction, Steve has turned his focus to assisting in the growth of Proton.

Pat Dalsanders


Pat is a long time positive contributor to softball as a player, coach, team owner, and sponsor. His teams throughout the years have been some of the most prominent in the history of the game. Pat is a Former Marine, worked 35 years for the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller and the past 16 years as a Contractor with Raytheon and SAIC as the Manager of Training for newly hired Controllers of the FAA.

Lex Ramirez

Vice President, Softball Operations

Lex is responsible for the management of softball products. This includes assembly, engineering, and design. When Lex is not working on our products during the week, he is using them on the weekends.

Lauren Payne

Manager Operations & Marketing

Lauren is responsible for all of our Customer/Player Relations and Marketing which includes managing our social media pages and the promoting of not only our business but also our players. She works closely with Elizabeth to ensure all of our customers are quickly responded to and taken care of. Lauren is also a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer

Jon Nelson

Director, Teams & Athletes

Jon is a founding member of Proton and is responsible for our on-field and on-court operations which includes the management of our teams and sponsored athletes. Jon plays softball at the highest level professionally, and has recently started playing Pickleball. How long until he is full-time Pickleball?!?!?!