Your place for beauty and wellness

Our Staff

We have the best talent Charlotte has to offer. From hair stylists to make-up artists to spa professionals to weight loss experts, Valeria Salon can elevate the way you look and feel.

Geri Palillo

Owner/Artistic Director

Geri’s inspiration for fashion dates back to her childhood when her parents owned a cosmetic company. Surrounded by beauty and fashion, she dreamed to one day own her own salon. In 2003, her dream became a reality when she opened the doors to Valeria Salon, Spa & Boutique. Using her inspiration and education, she and her three daughters, Jamie, Rachelle and Brandi have created a high-energy salon environment that employs over 30 staff members.

Trained at the world famous Vidal Sassoon Institute, Geri began her career at the Peter Piccalo Hair Design Institute in New York and is a regular attendee of New York’s Redken 5th Avenue Exchange. Acknowledged by her peers as a pioneer and motivator, Geri continually strives to inspire hairdressers with her unique blend of education and ability.

Working with her team of hand-picked experts, Geri has developed her own special brand of style and elegance. She personally selects all of the jewelry, sunglasses, and handbags for the boutique. As an active member of the Lake Norman community, she generously gives back to her community.

Rachelle (Palillo) Charles

Owner/Master Stylist

Born to a hair stylist, Rachelle has been surrounded by the beauty industry since day one. She graduated from the Aveda Institute of Charlotte where she learned cutting-edge styles from global stylists from around the world. She opened Valeria Salon, Spa & Boutique with her mother, Geri, and sisters, Jamie and Brandi. With advanced training in Redken and Pureology, Rachelle enjoys bringing the latest trends and styles to her clients. She excels in finding the perfect haircut to match your face shape and the best hair color to compliment your skin tone.

Jamie (Palillo) Jordan


Brandi Palillo


Evelyn Alton

Great style and fashion sense run in Evelyn’s family, and early on Evelyn took the lead from her mom, who was also a skilled stylist. Originally from Columbia, SC, Evelyn has a true passion for helping clients feel and look their absolute best. She’s a Certified Color Specialist with great expertise in working with textured hair. With over 7 years of experience, her clients agree that she’s done her mom proud!

Tatiana Burrows
Chad Chamberlain

Chad is originally from Ohio and moved to the Carolinas in 1998. He started his career with advanced training through Aveda. He continued his passion for education by joining the team at Redken 5th Avenue NYC in 2007 and 2010. His work has been featured in Charlotte Wedding Magazine. Chad specializes in texture services, special styles, precision cuts and color. Chad is an innovative stylist dedicated to the needs of each individual. He truly cares and nurtures every client.

Chad enjoys outdoor actvities, sporting events, and spending time with his children and family.

Amanda Clary
Brittany Conklin
Kelle Deal
Ashleigh Dunne

Ashleigh is originally from Orange County, NY, and brings over 4 years of experience to Valeria. She studies at the renowned Aveda Institute in Charlotte, which sparked her love of the coloring facet of the industry. Ashleigh embraces the importance of educationg clients regarding everything she does — from product knowledge to color approaches to style maintenance — as she feels it’s vital that clilents are always completely informed. Ashleigh relishes an environment of creativity, and thrives in a setting that supports her originality and resourcefulness.

Dawn Goolkasian

Dawn is the employee every salon desires: a highly skilled, extremely professional team player — willing to do whatever it takes to make clients happy. She hails from Anchorage, AL, and maintains 20 years in the industry. She adds invaluable expertise in the weight loss part of the business, and proficiently manages the MedSpa as well. Her experience owning a nutrition store in Florida brings a high level of knowledge in these areas to Valeria. And what brings a smile to Dawn’s face is seeing the great results people achieve from the care the salon provides. When clients are overjoyed, she’s thrilled.

Kelly (Hayes) Grathwohl

Kelly is one of the artistic directors and one of Valeria’s original stylists from our opening in the fall of 2003. She has worked as a master stylist for 10+ years and has greater than 14 years experience doing hair. Prior to coming to Valeria, Kelly was an artistic director with Carmen Carmen salon of Charlotte and a senior stylist at Capello’s Salon in Buffalo, NY, where she is originally from. She is a published stylist, with a feature in Goldwell’s glossy book as well as past local television appearances. Formerly trained at the Marjong School of Beauty in Buffalo, NY, Kelly has received additional master training in New York City and internationally in London, England and Toronto, Canada. Kelly is a Huntersville resident and is married with two children.

Kelly Harris

I was born and raised in the Charlotte area. I come from a lineage of great hair stylists, so it only seemed natural that I use my gift in this area. I graduated from Aveda Institute of Cosmetology in 2006. I worked locally in the salon industry until marrying in 2008. After moving to the Wilmington area of the North Carolina coast and working there for several years, I have returned to my home of Charlotte. I secured a position at Valeria and I truly love it here. I am artistic and love to use my abilities to create something really beautiful for my client. I especially enjoy updo’s and creating both classic and unique hairstyles. I believe in continuing education for hairstylists. This keeps me on top of the latest trends and techniques. I have a strong work ethic and will give my full attention and dedication to my clients.

Rhema Helm
Courtney Kay

Courtney is a color guru. She’s not only dedicated to technically doing her job, but also to educating her clients along the way. She consistently explains in great detail how clients can maintain their color and style away from the salon. And, as colleagues and clients will tell you, Courtney is quite colorful herself. So if you hear the folks at Valeria sharing a good laugh, most likely Courtney was the source of the humor. Her entertaining personality keeps everyone’s spirit up, and is much appreciated throughout the crazily busy days.

Leah Lott


Marsha Lindsay


Tony Nguyen


Bonnie Mangelly

After Bonnie’s training at Augusta Technical College, she went on to complete and advanced training regimen on a cruise ship — that’s high expectations on the high seas! Yet this uniques experience truly elevated her ability to provide an unparalleled level of customer service. She also honed the skills inherent to her current specialties — upstyling, specialty blow-drys, and challenging curly hair. Interestingly, Bonnie is an ardent believer in the power of motivational speaking, and she’s been fortunate enough to have motivated and empowered many people over the years.

Megan McDowell

Megan is the epitome of a multi-talented industry pro. Coming to Valeria from Hilton Head, SC, where she studied at the International Spa Institute, Megan is adept at advanced facial treatments, performs on location makeup for special events, and is an eyelash extension wizard. In fact, she’s done over 500 hours of eyelash extensions — so we think she may be closing in on the world record! And, not surprising due to the level of creativity we see from Megan, she’s also quite a talented graphic designer.

Jodi Morgan

Jodi comes to Valeria from Perrysburg, OH. That may be a small town, but she’s had some pretty big training. With over 7 ears of experience, she trained at the Aveda Institute of Cosmetology, which put her in a freat position to become a remarkable hairstylist and make up artist. Her specialties include precision cutting, razor cutting, and the abilitu to create beautiful styles for either lon or short hair. She takes pride in keeping up with the latest color and cuts, and strives to put a smile on her cllients’ faces every time they see her.

Angela Oritz
Edward Santana

A seasoned hair stylist and graduate of the prestigious Robert Fiance School of Hair Design in New York City, Eddie spent several years perfecting his craft in New York. Upon moving to Miami, Florida, Eddie’s expertise drew a clientele comprised of a select group of Miami socialites. We consider ourselves lucky that Eddie moved to Charlotte and chose Valeria as his new home. He has become known for his superior set and style technique and will help you determine your perfect style and color, based on your hair texture and complexion. From Keratin treatments to perms, Eddie does it all while successfully achieving the level of maintenance you desire to reflect your individuality from natural to dramatic looks. With many years in the industry, Eddie is a rare talent and an expert in the field.

Josette Skakey, N.P.

I have been in the healthcare field for 18 years. Since graduating from USC, Columbia in 2001 with an advanced practice degree, I have worked in primary care. Providing healthcare to all ages has given me great satisfaction and has been so rewarding. I have been providing beautifying injectables for the last five years. I enjoy helping people feel better about themselves while helping them feel more beautiful and confident.

BSN – State University of New York at Brockport - Graduated 1996
MSN/FNP - USC Columbia - Graduated 2001

Lucy Stephan

Lucy brings over 25 years of experience as an aesthetician, with a Para Medical Aesthetician certification. She focuses on solving skin issues, applying her know-how in an effort to help people raise their lelvel of confidence and truly feel good. She’s a certified laser technician, with expertise in various types of medical peels. 

Mina Takhar

Thanks to her Dad, a talented barber, Mina cultivated her passion for this industry at a very young age. Originally from Vancouver, B.C., she maintains over 15 years of experience, and loves to create special styles – spanning everything from curly hair to men’s cuts to updos. The only thing she possibly loves as much as making clients look and feel good is being around cars that look good and feel good…to drive. Mina and her husband partake in car shows throughout the year, a pastime for which they have a great passion.

Melissa Thomason

Melissa has been a Physician assistant for over 7 years with aesthetic experience for 6 of those years. Since graduating from PA school. Melissa has practiced in both primary and emergency medicine. Aesthetics became a passion of hers, and she enjoys helping people feel and look their best through guided weight loss, facial injections, and laser skin therapies. She feels rewarded when she is able to help educate her clients to get the results they desire.

BA Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Master of Science, Physician Assistant Studies, Allbany Medical College

Lindsay Watts

Lindsay Watts is an Artistic Director here at Valeria and has been in the hair industry for 10 years. Before coming to Valeria, Lindsay was trained through an Aveda Salon and had advanced training with Aveda. She has been with the team to the Redken Exchange in NY, and exceeds in Redken Color and Hi-Lighting techniques. She is also certified in the Brazillian Keratin Straightening service. A master at making women look good and feel great, Lindsay takes extra time to make sure that the finished product of her color and cut is always at it’s best. Outside of work Lindsay enjoys spending time at the lake, riding dirtbikes, or any outside activities with her husband and son.

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